Secret Service code names for U.S. Presidents & their spouses

With all the hubub surrounding the presidential election, we decided look back on an issue that came up during the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Secret Service code names assigned to presidential candidates Mitt Romney (Javelin) and Rick Santorum (Petrus), we wondered what the code names have been for past Presidents of the United States and their spouses.

According to Wikipedia, the use of such names was originally for security purposes and dates to a time when sensitive electronic communications were not routinely encrypted; today, the names simply serve for purposes of brevity, clarity, and tradition. The Secret Service does not choose these names. The White House Communications Agency assigns them.

According to established protocol, good codewords are unambiguous words that can be easily pronounced and readily understood by those who transmit and receive voice messages by radio or telephone regardless of their native language. Traditionally, all family members' code names start with the same letter.

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