GQ reports that Rick Santorum has chosen his own code name now that he has earned Secret Service protection (bet he’d trade it for delegates).
Drum roll, please. It is…
The use of code words to refer to candidates are a throwback to the era when Secret Service and White House Communications Agency communications were not encrypted. The tradition has stuck around. The only real rule the Service has is that the word chosen be comprehensible over the radio and not be similar to someone’s else’s. That’s why code names tend to have two or three strong syllables.
It’s tempting to associate a candidate’s code word with some aspect of their personality. Sometimes this is true and sometimes it is not. “Petrus” is a biblical allusion—as in St. Peter, the first pope. (The Latin name is derived from the Greek word for “rock.”)
As Jesus said, “Upon this Rick…”
Well, at least he didn’t choose “Sanctum.”
My analysis: This is a clever way for Santorum, considered an uber-Catholic by those who generally don’t know too much about Catholicism, to let voters in Catholic-rich Illinois know that he is actually Catholic.
Because, it turns out just over four-in-ten Catholic Republicans know he’s Catholic, and evangelicals are as likely to think he’s one of their tribe as think he is a papist.
Smart move, Rick! Not infallible, though.
Mitt Romney’s Secret Service code name is “Javelin.” That is way cool. He can’t lose.