Last Secretary Standing - Biden Edition

This is a sequel contest to the previous Last Secretary Standing contest. I know I'm starting later than I did with Trump, but it doesn't matter. As we approach the halfway point of Joe Biden's (first?) term all of his original cabinet secretaries are still serving, which is quite the change from his immediate predecessor. Planned resignations of cabinet secretaries (as opposed to firings) often happen in the lame duck period between mid-term elections and the new Congress taking office, so this seems like a good time to start a Biden Administration version of this contest. Here is a list of current cabinet secretaries, given by their place in the presidential order of succession.
  1. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
  2. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen
  3. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
  4. Attorney General Merrick Garland
  5. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
  6. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  7. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo
  8. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh
  9. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra
  10. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge
  11. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg
  12. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm*
  13. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
  14. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough
  15. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas*

So how does this work? For the first round you pick two cabinet secretaries, one designated as "next to go" and another as "last standing". Your "last standing" prediction cannot be changed, so be sure when you make it. Whenever an original Biden cabinet secretary departs whoever had that secretary picked as "next" gets a number of points equal to the number of remaining original cabinet secretaries. For example, whoever correctly identifies the next cabinet secretary to depart will earn 14 points, because there will be 14 original secretaries remaining after the next departure. At every departure a player gets to specify a new "next to go" prediction, even if they were wrong and the secretary they picked as "next to go" is still in the cabinet. If they player does not specify a new "next to go" it will simply be assumed that they are staying by their former pick. If their former pick actually left and they do not make a new pick before the next departure the player will be given a "null" pick and not be able to win points until they've picked a new "next to go". Successfully predicting the last secretary standing (a prediction you don't get to change once you've made it) is worth 15 points. No points will be awarded for any cabinet secretaries still in place when Biden leaves office, however that occurs.

Anyone can join the game at any time, though if you wait until after the next secretary leaves you've given up a chance at 14 points.

A few caveats. A secretary is considered to have "left" the position when an announcement has officially been made. Press speculation that "Secretary X is said to have resigned" or similar do not count. Points are awarded at the official date of resignation, which may not be the same date as the announcement of the resignation. This can make a difference. Last time we had a situation where Elaine Chao announced her resignation first but Betsy DeVos left office first by dating her last day a few days before Chao's.

This contest only concerns original Biden cabinet appointees. Replacement cabinet secretaries are not included. Only cabinet secretaries are included in this contest. Despite the fact that the American Ambassador to the U.N., the EPA Director, the Director of National Intelligence, and others are "cabinet-level" appointees, only those heading executive departments and on the presidential succession list (i.e. the people on the list above) can be picked for this contest.

The floor is now open for predictions. Once made, your prediction for "next secretary to go" stands until the next secretary leaves office, regardless of whether the departure was your pick. Your prediction for "last secretary standing" can never be changed, so make it a good one.

My predictions:
Next To Go: Gina Raimondo
Last Secretary Standing: Deb Haaland

*Despite the fact that the Secretaries of Energy and Homeland Security 15th and 18th in line to replace the president, Jennifer Granholm and Alejandro Mayorkas are ineligible to succeed to the presidency because they are naturalized, not natural born, citizens. But just because they can never be president doesn't mean we can't use them in this contest!
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