Since Harry Truman was president, the United States Secret Service has used code names for the commander-in-chief, first ladies, children and other prominent figures.
The names often are funny or clever, with references to the individual’s background, hobbies or profession.
Harry Truman was, appropriately, “General.” Bess Truman was “Sunnyside.” John F. Kennedy was “Lancer,” and Jackie Kennedy was “Lace.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s code name is “Mogul,” according to a CNN report. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana, is “Hoosier.” Melania Trump is “Muse,” while Karen Pence is “Hummingbird.”
Barack Obama was “Renegade,” and Michelle Obama was “Renaissance.” Joe Biden was “Celtic,” and Jill Biden was “Capri.”
Lesser-known political figures and ones that ended up with unsuccessful bids for the White House had code names too.
During the race for the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, known as “Sundance,” ran with Joe Lieberman, whose codename was “Laser.”
During Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for the presidency, the Clintons retained code names from their 8-year stint in the White House. Hillary Clinton is known as “Evergreen” and Bill Clinton was named “Eagle.”
Families often share the same first letter for all of their code names. The Obamas were R, the Clintons were E, the Trumps are M. Some presidents and first ladies had more than one code name.
According to Time, the names of a president’s family members often would be alliterative to their name.
High-ranking members of some administrations get code names, too. “Matrix” often is used as a generic name for the White House Press Secretary. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, was “Black Hawk.”
The names originally were for security, beginning in a time when electronic communication wasn’t routinely encrypted. But now the names are used mostly for tradition and brevity.
The White House Communications Agency assigns the names, not the Secret Service.
Some of the names are difficult to find or confirm. The Washington Post looked into the names and sources for them, and came up with a list.
Places and things get names, too. Air Force One is “Angel” or “Cowpuncher.” The presidential state car is “Stagecoach.” The White House is “Castle” and the Capitol is “Punch bowl.” The White House Situation Room is “Cement Mixer.”
Some high-profile visitors and friends also received names. Frank Sinatra, friend to JFK, reportedly was “Napoleon.” Pope John Paul II, “Halo.”
Gerald Ford: Passkey
Betty Ford: Pinafore
Jimmy Carter: Deacon
Rosalynn Carter: Dancer
Ronald Reagan: Rawhide
Nancy Reagan: Rainbow
George H. W. Bush: Timberwolf
Barbara Bush: Tranquility
Bill Clinton: Eagle
Hillary Clinton: Evergreen
George W. Bush: Trailblazer
Laura Bush: Tempo
Barack Obama: Renegade
Michelle Obama: Renaissance
Donald Trump: Mogul
Melania Trump: Muse