Tom Zarek had succeeded. He ruined Laura's plans and took control of the news cycle for Colonial Day. The President had no intentions of naming a successor because she didn't want one. There were only three men she trusted for the job: Two of whom were career military men, and the other was her young aide who simply wasn't ready for that responsibility yet. No, Laura's plan was for her death to leave a vacuum, which would be subsumed by Commander Adama.
She knew the father and son would work together. Captain Apollo would remember the civilian concerns, and Billy would help them both through the transition. The warhorse would protect everyone. They wouldn't find Earth, but they'd find another planet and settle there. When Billy was ready, he'd step up; Adama knew that was Laura's wish-only, he didn't know how soon she wanted it to become reality.
But Zarek singlehandedly ruined her plans. He claimed to be concerned about the lack of a Vice President to take her place if anything happened to her. He had no way of knowing how close to the truth he was. She was dying, and now, she needed to find someone who'd at least maintain the status quo, following the guidance of the Adamas. Someone whom her true heir apparent could control. And that someone wasn't Tom Zarek.