Every year, as the President addresses a joint session of Congress about the state of the union, one member of the Cabinet is stowed away in a secret location as the “designated survivor” in the event that something goes horribly wrong. For President Joe Biden‘s State of the Union address on Tuesday, it was Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Last year, there was no designated survivor because the President gave his address to a limited audience due to COVID-19 precautions. The designated survivor is also utilized in other events where the President and Congress are gathered in one place, like presidential inaugurations.

Raimondo, who is the former governor of Rhode Island, became a member of Biden’s Cabinet in March 2021. She leads the department working to create more jobs and boost the economy. She has also worked on major segments of President Biden’s Build Back Better Act.

“It was quite uneventful actually, thankfully,” Raimondo told reporters of her time as the designated survivor on Wednesday. “I was out of Washington D.C., but doing my work like any other day.”

The tradition came from the Cold War era as fears of a nuclear attack loomed.

Raimondo’s position would normally put her at tenth in line to be President, according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android