Strom Thurmond could be our next President?!

Well, geez, I guess I’m out of the loop. The Better Half just told me that if Dick Cheney died, and Dubya got killed in an accident, then we’d have Strom Thurmond as President. He’s Speaker of the House, right? How old is he, 98?

The B.H. chortled, “It’d be like having the Pope.”

You are out of the loop. Strom Thurmond is a Senator. Denis Hastert is Speaker of the House.

Thurmond comes after Hastert, however.

But ol’ Strom is President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He’s next in line if GWB, Cheney, and Hastert all get electrocuted during a group photo session.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Strom Thurmond is President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and third in line to the presidency. During the election controversy, there was some talk that he might become acting president if the election was not resolved in time for inaugeration, because Dennis Hastert has let it be known that he would not accept the acting president job. Reason being that he would have had to resign from his House job for this temporary gig. (Thing is that Thurmond would also have had to resign, so he might not have accepted either). This may be what caused the confusion.

I thought the same thing. In fact I stated it in this thread in IMHO yesterday. However, several people told me that the succession of the speaker of the house only occurs if there is not a living president. Otherwise, the President will pick his new VP.

OTOH, the chance that Strom could become President is down right scary. His tenure would be marked by increased funding for that technological breakthrough, the telephone. He would bring back a horse drawn limo. But, considering his age, he’d probably only last about 6 months before he kicked.

Some individuals have reported that Thurmond is a lot more cognitively “with it” than folks suppose; he had informed opinions on the internet “decency” legislation including commments about possible dampening effects on international internet-based economy, difficulties with international enforcement, and so forth.

OTOH, he’s somewhere over there on the far right (redneck edition) sitting next to Jesse Helms, politically speaking, and I still wouldn’t want to see him as president.

Irving Wallace’s novel The Man set up the scenario this way: The President and the Speaker were both wiped out in the same accident. The Vice President was old and sick (!) so he declined. That left the President Pro Tem of the Senate – who happened to be Black. The first Black president.

The film came out in 1972 so I assumed Wallace was inspired by Edward Brooke who was a black senator then. But in fact, the book was published in 1964, so Wallace was prescient of Brooke’s election by two years. In the film version he was played by James Earl Jones.

Wait, are you trying to say this would be a BAD thing?


Interesting sounding book/film, Jorno Mojo. Interestingly, while crotchety old Strom is #4 in line, Colin Powell is #5. So if Thurmond keels over at the same time as the other three, Powell’s in there.

One thing I’ve often wondered about is if you go that deep into the list, there appears to be a sort of “shortcut” to the top. For example, if Strom winds up getting the nod, Powell is not necessarily the next in line, because when the House appoints a new Speaker, that person is next in line of succession.