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Orrin Hatch

If #SOTU disaster strikes, Jeh Johnson ... or a Republican would become president

If #SOTU disaster strikes, Jeh Johnson ... or a Republican would become president

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address in 2015. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Nearly every member of the executive, legislative and judicial branches will gather in one room Tuesday night for handshakes, head bobs and applause as President Obama delivers his seventh, and final, official State of the Union address.

What happens if disaster strikes and everyone from the president to his would-be successors were somehow swept away? Enter the designated survivor: a member of the Cabinet selected weeks ago by the White House chief of staff to succeed the...

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