ABC’s Karen Travers and David Chalian report: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be the Cabinet member who is not present in the Capitol for the State of the Union tonight in order to protect the presidential line of succession.
Each year, one member of the Cabinet does not attend the State of the Union, in case of emergency. Last year, the role was filled by Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson.
The next two people in line for the presidency, Vice President Cheney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will of course be in the Capitol this evening, sitting directly behind President Bush.
And while nearly all members of both houses of Congress will be present for tonight’s speech, Speaker Pelosi’s spokeswoman advises that "for security/continuity reasons, Congressman George Miller (D-CA) will be out of the chamber during the President’s SOTU address."