Law and Public Policy

Designated Survivor for the State of the Union Address

January 12, 2016  • Dan Glickman

During the president’s State of the Union speech, one Cabinet member is always purposefully absent — by custom — not just from the Capitol, but usually from Washington itself, in case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster.  On February 4, 1997, that Cabinet member was Dan Glickman, Former US Secretary of Agriculture and Congressional Program Executive Director.

Glickman reflects on his experiences being the designated successor during President Bill Clinton’s 1997 State of the Union speech.