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Can you name the officers in the US Presidential line of succession?
Enter an officer in the box below
Correctly named officers will show up below
Click any empty Rank or Officer to answer for that location
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US Pres. Succession Line Quiz
Created Nov 4, 2008 in
Featured Nov 4, 2008
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Comment below threshold:
Nov 4th, 2008 at 16:25 GMT
Had we been allowed to name these in any order, I bet I'd have done better.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 16:26 GMT
Sure, but naming them in any order is just the same as naming the cabinet plus a couple of other people.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 16:40 GMT
it wasn't that bad...i remember reading that the order was set by when the cabinet positions were formed, so that made it a bit easier
Nov 4th, 2008 at 16:46 GMT
It would be nice if secretary of HHS and HUD were accepted as answers. That's what the positions are commonly known as.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 17:02 GMT
Wow, how bad a crisis would it have to be for the secretary of homeland security to become President?!
Nov 4th, 2008 at 17:29 GMT
couldn't for the life of me think of #7... president of the senate for vp?
Nov 4th, 2008 at 17:49 GMT
'Vice president' was only guessed by 99.9% because I didn't get it. xD I got 0.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 18:06 GMT
I remember learning the cabinet in school through the acronym "ST. DAIACL HH HUD TEEV" with the first "A" being for the Attorney General. Of course, Homeland Security was added afterwards, but I've always found this a great way to remember the cabinet and the order of Presidential succession.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 20:09 GMT
@Ben: nobody beyond the Vice President has ever assumed presidential powers. The most likely scenario would be some kind of catastrophe at the State of the Union address, which is attended by everyone on the list, apart from one `designated survivor' who stays far away.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 20:48 GMT
Bah! I forgot agriculture, labor, HHS, and energy. Shame on me.
Nov 4th, 2008 at 21:13 GMT
@Booger: I think it might be easier to remember the actual cabinet positions than the acronym!
Nov 4th, 2008 at 21:47 GMT
I believe the actual spelling is "President pro tempore," although hardly anyone ever remembers that. ;) I think even my Civics teacher spelled it "tem" half the time...
Comment below threshold:
Nov 4th, 2008 at 22:29 GMT
david ur wrong, gerald ford(speaker of the house) was appointed vice president after spiro agnew nixons vice president resigned, and then assumed the role of president when nixon followed.
Nov 5th, 2008 at 00:40 GMT
Awol: Yes, but that intermediate step means Ford was Vice President when he became President, not Speaker. So David's statement is still correct; nobody who was not elected President has assumed Presidential powers from a position lower than Vice President.
Nov 5th, 2008 at 00:56 GMT
@awol: No. Ford was never Speaker of the House; he was just the House Minority Leader. The Speaker at the time was Carl Albert. And Ford became President on Nixon's resignation because he was Nixon's Vice President.
Nov 5th, 2008 at 00:59 GMT
@starsaphire: "pro tem" is an abbreviation for "pro tempore". (Also, "sapphire" has two P's. ;-) )
Nov 5th, 2008 at 07:18 GMT
davidr: In gemology, yes. In sporcle, no. ;) ;) ;)
Nov 5th, 2008 at 16:03 GMT
i must of been looking way down the list and realizing when i looked the other day, i was putting in father of the house, oldest living former president etc. makes sense to think of cabinet ministers lol
Nov 7th, 2008 at 02:29 GMT
The Speaker of the House did take over once. Oh wait, that was an episode of "The West Wing". Never mind.
Nov 23rd, 2008 at 16:48 GMT
Wow, you mean we were 6 bullets away from a Rumsfeld presidency?
Dec 7th, 2008 at 02:08 GMT
i swear that attorney general was before secretary of interior last time i played.....
Dec 20th, 2008 at 00:57 GMT
Jan 29th, 2009 at 06:13 GMT
Good quiz! I was already typing the "p" in pro tempore when the short form popped up. Yes, the succession is decided by the order in which the cabinet post was established. (Well, except for Defense - that post was established much later, because it used to be called the Sec. of War. but they left it in the orignal succession line.) A british line of succession would be fun too - or is that already here?
Jan 29th, 2009 at 19:31 GMT
veterans affairs (without the apostrophe) should be an accepted answer
Feb 14th, 2009 at 05:33 GMT
@ Kenny It accepted it without the apostrophe for me...
Feb 20th, 2009 at 17:40 GMT
@Jessica E.B.: Technically, the post of Sec. of War became Secretary of the Army but, yes, the SecDef took over his position in the line of succession. As for the UK, I'm not sure there is a formal line of succession for the Prime Ministership: the PM is appointed by the queen so I imagine she'd appoint somebody temporarily (most likely the Deputy Prime Minister) until the Commons majority sorted out a new leader. Or do you mean succession to the throne?
Jun 1st, 2009 at 20:40 GMT
does anyone else find it odd that the secretary of the treasury comes before the secretary of defense in the line of succession? I feel like the people who have the most foreign policy experience should go first, but that's life.
Jun 24th, 2009 at 06:41 GMT
@Lee, as stated before, it's all based on when the cabinet post was created. The four original posts were created on these dates: State (4/6/1789), Treasury (9/11/1789), Defense (9/12/1789), and Attorney General (9/26/1789). Of potential interest, there was a suggested Constitutional amendment put forth by Rep. Sherman (D-CA 27) in each of the last several sessions to add on to the list the Amabassador to the UN, followed by the ambassadors to each of the other security council nations, in order Great Britain, Russia, China, and France. The bills, however, never made it to the floor.
Jun 29th, 2009 at 00:10 GMT
@LEE: The President has to manage the whole country, including its economy and foreign policy, so I don't think that the Secretary of the Treasury is any more or less suited to taking over than the Secretary of Defense.
Jun 29th, 2009 at 00:12 GMT
@Stephen C.: Actually, the position of SecDef was created on 19th September 1947 but it assumed the position of the former Secretary of War (12th September 1789, as you say) in the line of succession.
Jul 13th, 2009 at 03:20 GMT
As everyone knows, Laura Roslin assumed the presidency of the 12 Colonies of Kobol after the Cylon attacks. As the Secretary of education, she was 43rd in succession.
Jul 14th, 2009 at 02:08 GMT
@davidr: pertaining to your first comments, Edwin Stanton (sec. of war) assumed Presidential powers during the Lincoln assassination and attempted assassination of Seward (state) and Johnson (VP).
Feb 12th, 2010 at 05:53 GMT
Then how did Jack Ryan become one? :D Good quiz.
Mar 11th, 2010 at 22:52 GMT
@TheStatueThief: Not formally, he didn't. He was effectively running the country for a little while but he never took the oath of office, not least because Vice President Johnson was unharmed — the guy who was supposed to assassinate him chickened out.
Apr 7th, 2010 at 19:42 GMT
Dude....can you at least accept veterans' without the little '?
Jun 8th, 2011 at 05:48 GMT
i had no clue as to what i even had to do on this... only reason i even figured it out at all was the minute morsel, and i got the first 3 when playing full version, but couldn't figure out how to spell secretary for the other 3 and didn't know the others either... i think i should have paid more attention in school lol
Jun 8th, 2011 at 20:38 GMT
I never realized how difficult it is to type "secretary" until now.
Jun 8th, 2011 at 21:53 GMT
Didn't accept Senate President pro tem or Senate President pro tempore - I don't see any reason why my phrasing is less correct than the one you require.
Jun 8th, 2011 at 21:57 GMT
@kbugs24 I had the exact same issue. I'll assume we put the word "senate" in the *wrong* place! Looks like a little flexibility in naming protocol would help (this item, apostrophes, maybe even abbreviations like HHS...)
Jun 8th, 2011 at 23:25 GMT
Where's Al Haig?
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