politics The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used  

Mike Rothschild
23.9k votes 2.1k voters 65.9k views 49 items Embed

While Secret Service code names are a tradition that dates back all the way to the Wilson administration, it's a little known fact that it's not actually the president's protective detail who picks the names. At first, it was the FBI choosing code names for presidents and their family. Then, with President Roosevelt's formation of what became known as the White House Communications Agency, the task fell to them. The Secret Service uses the names as shorthand, but they don't pick them out.

Whoever does pick them out, however, often strikes gold - either because they're so apt, or because they're so insulting and terrible. You get everything from triumphant, heroic names that imply honor and dignity to the daughter of a presidential candidate being named after a British actor, and various officials having their maladies mocked. Sometimes the names are chosen by the figures themselves - leading to an array of names that are both pompous and painfully obvious.

Which American presidents and US political figures throughout history have had the best Secret Service code names? This list features all the funniest and most awesome, so vote up those you think are the best, and if you have your own political aspirations, start thinking of yours today!
list ordered by

1
887 203
Ronald Reagan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Ronald Reagan - "Rawhide" Died at 93 (1911-2004) - Used throughout his presidency.

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2
659 195
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Jacqueline Kennedy - "Lace" Died at 65 (1929-1994) - Used throughout her time as First Lady.

3
660 201
Roger Clinton, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Roger Clinton, Jr. - "Headache" age 59 - Used throughout his half-brother's presidency.

4
540 167
John F. Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
John F. Kennedy - "Lancer" Died at 46 (1917-1963) - Used throughout his presidency.

5
431 164
Harry S. Truman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Harry S. Truman - "General" Died at 88 (1884-1972) - Used throughout his presidency.

6
569 242
Nancy Reagan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Nancy Reagan - "Rainbow" age 95 - Used during her time as First Lady.

7
446 182
George H. W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
George H. W. Bush - "Timberwolf" age 92 - Used throughout his presidency.

8
428 178
Barbara Bush is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Barbara Bush - "Snowbank" age 91 - Used during her time as First Lady.

9
383 183
Dick Cheney is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Dick Cheney - "Backseat" age 76 - Used during his time as President Ford's chief of staff - known as "Angler" during his vice presidency.

10
376 184
Bob Dole is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Bob Dole - "Ramrod" age 93 - Used during his 1976 campaign.

11
381 195
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Frank Sinatra - "Napoleon" Died at 83 (1915-1998) - Given at the request of Richard Nixon.

12
312 153
Jenna Bush Hager is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Jenna Bush Hager - "Twinkle" age 35 - Used throughout her father's presidency.

13
309 156
Dwight D. Eisenhower is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Dwight D. Eisenhower - "Scorecard" Died at 79 (1890-1969) - Used throughout his presidency.

14
355 191
Charles, Prince of Wales is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Charles, Prince of Wales - "Unicorn" age 68 - Also known as "Principal."

15
353 192
George W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
George W. Bush - "Tumbler" age 70 - Used during his 2000 campaign - known as "Trailblazer" throughout his presidency.

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16
287 159
Eleanor Roosevelt is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Eleanor Roosevelt - "Rover" Died at 78 (1884-1962) - Used throughout her time as First Lady.

17
334 205
Newt Gingrich is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Newt Gingrich - "T-Rex" age 73 - Used during his 2012 campaign.

18
258 152
Richard Nixon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Richard Nixon - "Searchlight" Died at 81 (1913-1994) - Used throughout his presidency.

19
294 185
Karenna Gore Schiff is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Karenna Gore Schiff - "Smurfette" age 42 - Used throughout her father's time in office.

20
209 130
Edith Wilson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Edith Wilson - "Grandma" Died at 89 (1872-1961) - Used during her time as First Lady.

21
215 138
Alexander Haig is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Alexander Haig - "Clawhammer" Died at 86 (1924-2010) - Used during his time as Richard Nixon's chief of staff.

22
221 145
Betty Ford is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Betty Ford - "Pinafore" Died at 93 (1918-2011) - Used during her time as First Lady.

23
203 131
Nelson Rockefeller is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Nelson Rockefeller - "Sandstorm" Died at 71 (1908-1979) - Used throughout his vice presidency.

24
288 208
Ted Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Ted Kennedy - "Sunburn" Died at 77 (1932-2009) - Used during his 1980 campaign.

25
193 137
Happy Rockefeller is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Happy Rockefeller - "Shooting Star" age 89 - Used during Nelson Rockefeller's vice presidency - also known as "Stardust."

26
187 132
Henry Kissinger is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Henry Kissinger - "Woodcutter" age 93 - Used during his time as Richard Nixon's Secretary of State.

27
352 283
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Donald Trump - "Mogul" age 70 - Used during his 2016 presidential campaign.

28
276 223
Sarah Palin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Sarah Palin - "Denali" age 53 - Used during her 2008 campaign.

29
198 157
Ben Carson - "Eli" is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Ben Carson - "Eli" Used during his 2016 presidential campaign.

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30
182 144
Gerald Ford is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Gerald Ford - "Pass Key" Died at 93 (1913-2006) - Used throughout his presidency.

31
200 163
Lyndon B. Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Lyndon B. Johnson - "Volunteer" Died at 65 (1908-1973) - Used throughout his presidency.

32
377 334
Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Barack Obama - "Renegade" age 55 - Used throughout his presidency.

33
178 152
Ron Nessen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Ron Nessen - "Clam Chowder" age 82 - Used during his time as Gerald Ford's press secretary.

34
238 217
Joe Biden is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Joe Biden - "Celtic" age 74 - Used throughout his vice presidency.

35
148 141
Cindy McCain is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Cindy McCain - "Parasol" age 62 - Used during her husband's 2008 campaign.

36
165 161
Meghan McCain is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Meghan McCain - "Peter Sellers" age 32 - Used during her father's 2008 campaign.

37
206 209
Todd Palin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Todd Palin - "Driller" age 51 - Used during his wife's 2008 campaign.

38
165 168
Walter Mondale is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Walter Mondale - "Dragon" age 89 - Used throughout his vice presidency - also known as "Cavalier."

39
174 178
Jimmy Carter is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Jimmy Carter - "Lock Master" age 92 - Used throughout his presidency - also known as "Deacon."

40
174 181
Paul Ryan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Paul Ryan - "Bowhunter" age 45 - Used during his 2012 campaign.

41
291 306
Michelle Obama is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Michelle Obama - "Renaissance" age 53 - Used during her time as First Lady.

42
236 255
Bernie Sanders - "Intrepi... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Bernie Sanders - "Intrepid" Used during his 2016 presidential campaign.

43
189 211
Mitt Romney is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Mitt Romney - "Javelin" age 70 - Used during his 2012 campaign.

44
160 184
Al Gore is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Al Gore - "Sawhorse" age 69 - Used throughout his vice presidency - also known as "Sundance."

45
134 159
Michael Dukakis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Michael Dukakis - "Peso" age 83 - Used during his 1988 campaign.

46
247 327
Bill Clinton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Bill Clinton - "Eagle" age 70 - Used throughout his presidency.

47
114 174
Rick Santorum is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Rick Santorum - "Petrus" age 58 - Used during his 2012 campaign.

48
150 254
Jesse Jackson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Jesse Jackson - "Thunder" age 75 - Used during his 1984 campaign.

49
198 324
Hillary Clinton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Code Names the Secret Service Has Ever Used
Hillary Rodham Clinton - "Evergreen" age 69 - Used during her time as First Lady and her 2016 and 2008 campaigns.