Who Is Codename “Rainbow”? Play Our Presidential Matching Game

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Slate's Culture Blog
March 22 2012 9:00 AM

Ronald Reagan Is “Twinkle”? Take Our Codename Quiz

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A Secret Service agent looks on as Mitt Romney, codename "Javelin," speaks in Colorado.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Mitt Romney has finally alighted on a secret service codename: “Javelin.” The alias could refer to one of Romney’s first cars (a sporty number far sleeker than Seamus the dog’s station wagon) or to the Olympic projectile—either way, it trips off the tongue. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum has opted for a more pious choice, “Petrus,” which means “rock” in Latin and has etymological ties to “Peter,” as in the saint.

The codename, a relic from the days when radio calls between the White House and its security force were less secure, has stuck around for the sake of tradition and, perhaps, flair. Some rules still apply: Monikers should contain two to three syllables, they should be easy to pronounce, and all the members of a president’s or vice president’s family get codenames that begin with the same letter. An apt codename is like Cinderella’s glass slipper; it fits the wearer perfectly. Can you match the political VIPs below with their secret service pseudonyms?

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1. Barbara Bush
a. Renegade
2. Sasha Obama
b. Rawhide
3. Nancy Reagan
c. Denali
4. Betty Ford
d. Twinkle
5. Barack Obama
e. Evergreen
6. Karenna Gore
f. Lancer
7. Ronald Reagan
g. Rainbow
8. Jenna Bush
h. Timberwolf
9. Al Gore
i. Renaissance
10. Hillary Rodham Clinton
j. Author
11. George H. W. Bush
k. Smurfette
12. Michelle Obama
l. Sundance
13. Lynne Cheney
m. Pinafore
14. John F. Kennedy
n. Rosebud
15. Sarah Palin
o. Snowbank

Answers:
(1, o) (2, n) (3, g) (4, m) (5, a) (6, k) (7, b) (8, d) (9, l) (10, e) (11, h) (12, i) (13, j) (14, f) (15, c)

Katy Waldman is Slate’s words correspondent. 

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