Should the Vice President of the United States and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States both die or become incapacitated, the person in this position then becomes President.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I never said the President of the United States died! (S)he is still President. Okay, cheap shot. I felt the same way the first time I came across the question.
I'm a fan of Battlestar Galactica. I also passed with flying colors every U.S. Pol Sci and Civics class I took.
Combine these two facts, and you can understand why the inner Geek in me was at least somewhat fascinated when the Secretary of Education of the Twelve Colonies, forty-third(!) in the line of succession, became the President of the Colonies.
(By comparison, the United States officially has only eighteen people on the line of succession. The Twelve Colonies must have had a lot more cabinet departments! That, or several members of the Admiralty and other military departments had precedence, as they had been at war with the Cylons. Also, only the Vice President of the U.S. actually becomes President when he succeeds to the office. Everyone else simply acts as President. For all intents and purposes, they have the power of the office, just not the title.)
So if you need help remembering the order of succession to the office of the President of the United States (perhaps because you're in a civics class yourself), you could simply memorize the order of creation of our Cabinet departments. Or you could study with the help of some board games!
Or maybe you're trying to teach your kids some civics, and what each Cabinet member does, so they can aspire to be one some day. Why bore them with textbooks? Board games are obviously the better route.
Want to join a future President on his campaign trail? Want to then become the second most powerful person in the nation? Want to be a tiebreaker when people don't agree? Then Vice President is the job for you!
Current office holder (as of August 12, 2009): Joe Biden (D)
Did the title of this game ever come across your mind? Do you want to have a hand in the legislative process of the country? Does presiding over 400+ people sound like a fun job? Then Speaker of the House of Representatives is for you!
Are you a mediator, or an instigator? Do you want peace, or would you prefer to have your rivals fight it out? Is securing alliances second nature to you? What about breaking promises? As Secretary of State, you can do all this and more!
Are you good with numbers? How about numbers in the billions and trillions? Does handling the wealth of the nation (or dearth of it) sound like a thrilling prospect? Then you can become the Secretary of the Treasury!
Want to help protect the ideals of freedom and the bastions of democracy? Want to coordinate one of the most powerful military forces on the planet? Are you prepared to use force where force is necessary? Then Secretary of Defense is the job for you!
Always wanted to go (or have gone) to Harvard Law School? Do you like argument and deliberation? Is legalese like a second language to you? Want to put bad guys where they belong? The office of the Attorney General waits for you!
Do you like farming? Or do you want to help figure out how to feed our growing population with the food resources we have on hand? Do you want to ensure that what food we do have is safe for us to eat? The job of Secretary of Agriculture is for you!
Dream of becoming a doctor? Is "first, do no harm" your middle name? Do you want to nip epidemics in the bud? And if they become pandemics, are you prepared to provide the help that is needed? You're perfect for Secretary of Health and Human Services!
Is overcrowding a concern for you? Do you want to help provide places to live to the millions of citizens residing in our nation's cities? You can become the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development!
Do you want to make sure your kids and their kids get the education they need and deserve? (In the case of a catastrophic Cylon attack, are you able to rise to the task of leading the remnants of humanity?) Then you should become the Secretary of Education!
Is the safety and security of our nation your number one concern? Do you want to stop a terrorist attack before it has a chance to even get off the ground? The job of Secretary of Homeland Security is for you!