Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was not at the Capitol to hear President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, but it was for a very good reason.
Moniz, a 69 year old physicist from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy last May. This year, Moniz was chosen as what has become known as the “designated survivor.” This might seem like a morbid position, but it was a measure implemented in the 1960s as a security precaution. Because almost all key government figures are convened in one location for the annual State of the Union speech, one cabinet member is selected each year to remain in an undisclosed location in the unlikely event that a worst-case scenario unfolds while most of the government is assembled.
As the designated survivor, Moniz’s role would be to head up government following a disaster.
Thankfully, the State of the Union speech did not meet with any type of disaster (depending on what side of the political spectrum you’re on I suppose), and that leaves Ernest Moniz still in the role of Energy Secretary. Maybe Moniz would consider a future presidential bid though? I’d love to see an official portrait immortalizing that amazing head of hair he has.
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