Marty Walsh chosen as ‘designated survivor’ for President Biden’s State of the Union address


The former Boston mayor and current Secretary of Labor was not present at Biden’s State of the Union.

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has been chosen as the designated survivor for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in 2023. Ting Shen/Bloomberg

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was the “designated survivor” of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in 2023.

As Biden delivered his second annual address to Congress, Supreme Court justices and military officials, the former Boston mayor was… elsewhere.

A tradition dating back to the 1950s, the ‘designated survivor’ is a person in the presidential line of succession who absents themselves from the speech to a safe, secret location in the event that a disaster strikes and the president and cabinet members are struck down. of incapacity.

And this year, that person is Walsh — who will step down as secretary of labor to become executive director of the NHL Players’ Association. Walsh is the first person from Biden’s cabinet to resign and the first Secretary of Labor to be a designated survivor.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was the named survivor during Biden’s State of the Union address last year.

According to former President Barack Obama’s White House Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu, several factors go into selecting a designated survivor. According to Lu, who chose seven of Obama’s nominated survivors, the person should be:

  • In the presidential line
  • Already traveling outside the DC area
  • Someone whose department will not be discussed in detail in the speech
  • Not the same person as the previous year
  • Not a former congressman

Watch Biden’s second State of the Union here.


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