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January 25, 2007

Nancy Pelosi — Two heartbeats away from the presidency


Watching the State of the Union address this past Tuesday night, I was struck by the fact that only Dick Cheney's ageing, pacemaker-wired, damaged heart keeps Representative Pelosi from being one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

She is the most powerful woman in the history of the United States.

Amazing and profound.

Note: Several readers have pointed out that if Cheney were incapacitated, Bush would then appoint a new Vice-President.

True enough.

But that individual would have to be confirmed by the Democratic-majority Senate.

Until that happened, Pelosi would be one heartbeat away.

And who knows what the Democrats might — or might not — do, given that eventuality.

January 25, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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I am not a big political stuff follower but my question is "why is she were she is" I have heard the name over the years but how does someone apply for that job as speaker of the house.

Posted by: MATT | Jan 26, 2007 4:04:51 PM

Not quite. If the VP dies in office, a new one is chosen by the POTUS and confirmed by the Senate, just like when Agnew resigned. And, as when Nixon resigned, the VP becomes the POTUS and chooses his replacement. However, if the POTUS and VP both die at once, THEN the SOTH becomes president. Even then, she/he would choose a VP.

Posted by: Al Christensen | Jan 25, 2007 4:30:56 PM

In order for her to become President something would have to happen to both the President and the Vice-President at the same time. If the Vice-President resigns or dies, the President appoints a new one, as Nixon did when Agnew resigned. That person then becomes our President in the event of the President's death or resignation (e.g. Gerald Ford, and his VP Nelson Rockefeller). So it's highly unlikely we'll see a Speaker of the House (or anyone further down the chain) succeed to the Presidency.

As I understand it, anyway.

Posted by: ck | Jan 25, 2007 4:29:51 PM

thats not correct, if cheny were to die, bush would select a new vice president to be confirmed by congress

pelosi could only become president if cheny and bush die in short succession (prior to the nomination of a new vp)

or if the democrats refused to confirm any bush VP nominee other than pelosi

Posted by: Evan | Jan 25, 2007 4:29:02 PM

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