Cobb posted a pretty weird Sarah Palin cartoon last week. One of the characters assumes that if McCain were to die as president and Palin were to take his place, everyone below her in the line of succession would move up a spot. The character then suggests that perhaps it wouldn't be too bad for Nancy Pelosi to be VP.
It's interesting to think about what would happen if it really worked that way. If President Bush died now, Robert Byrd would have to be demoted to the House of Representatives, although I guess he'd at least be Speaker. But he'd be representing a district in California. Condi Rice would represent WV in the Senate, and the balance of power would flip back to Republican control. Henry Paulsen would be Secretary of State, and Robert Gates would be Secretary of the Treasury. Mukasey would become Defense. Perhaps even more ludicrously, Margaret Spellings would take over Energy, and Chertoff would be demoted to Veteran's Affairs. President Cheney would then be able to select a new Secretary of Homeland Security, I suppose, but if he could do that why couldn't he just fill the VP slot the way past presidents have done when they succeed to the presidency and avoid the whole shift?