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

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

Ronald Reagan Is “Twinkle”? Take Our Codename Quiz

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?

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

(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 a Slate staff writer. 



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Oct. 2 2014 9:19 AM Alibaba’s Founder on Why His Company Is Killing It in China
Oct. 2 2014 8:27 AM How Do Teachers Kill the Joy of Reading for Students?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Oct. 2 2014 9:08 AM Demons Are Real A horror movie goes behind the scenes on an Intervention-like reality show.
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 2 2014 7:30 AM What Put the Man in the Moon in the Moon?
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?