The United States Secret Service was established in 1865 and its original mission was to fight the growth in counterfeit currency. Their mission extended to the protection of the Presidents and Vice Presidents and their families, and with its added responsibility, the agency became more sophisticated. To better protect the commander in chief, Secret Service agents formulated codenames for the President. Here are some very interesting codenames given to US Presidents.
10. Richard Nixon: Searchlight
United States 37th President, Richard Milhous Nixon is perhaps best remembered for his dishonesty. Prior to the Watergate scandal, Nixon had won re-election in one of the greatest landslides in US history. Despite his apparent firm hold on US politics, his fear of a mid-term defeat led to the Watergate scandal and his resignation. During the scandal, Nixon went to extreme lengths to end the investigation, which is ironic given his code name: “Searchlight.”
9. Jimmy Carter: Deacon
One of the most honest US presidents to ever grace the Oval Office, Jimmy Carter’s codename couldn’t have been more fitting. He was nicknamed “Deacon.”
Only serving for a term, Carter has dedicated himself to assisting those in need, living up to his nickname and being of help to many in the process.
8. Gerald Ford: Passkey
After Richard Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of America. His short time as president was also met with controversy. With the public calling for charges to be brought against the disgraced Nixon, Ford rather gave him a “full, free, and absolute pardon.” Ford was given the codename “Passkey.”
7. George H.W. Bush: Timberwolf
The Secret Service appears to have an uncanny ability to pick codenames that, ironically or not, indicate a substantial truth about the commander in chief. George H.W. Bush’s codename wasn't an exception. The nickname of “Timberwolf” is appropriate because of his place as the patriarch of a political dynasty.
6. John F. Kennedy: Lancer
John F. Kennedy’s administration will always be met with wonder and disappointment. His murder has led to a mystical view of his time as president, with some even making comparison to the legend of King Arthur. Agents had given JFK the codename “Lancer,” motivated by the knight Lancelot, who was a part of King Arthur’s roundtable.
5. Ronald Reagan: Rawhide
The 40th President of America, Ronald Reagan, was first the president of the Screen Actors Guild. Many believed Reagan did not stand a chance to defeat incumbent Jimmy Carter, but it turned out that he had a resounding victory.
Once in office, Service agents got a fitting codename for Reagan: “Rawhide.” The Western movie star who appeared in films like The Last Outpost, Santa Fe Trail, and Law and Order must have felt right at home with the codename.
4. Bill Clinton: Eagle
Clinton remains one of the most charismatic men to ever become president. He came from humble beginnings but used his intellect and people skills to rise to exceptional heights. He was dubbed “Eagle,” as a result of his association with the Boy Scouts of America.
3. Donald Trump: Mogul
From “Lyin Ted,” to “Little Marco” Donald Trump certainly knows how to brand. No matter your opinion of the man, it’s impossible to deny the 45th president of the United States knows how to sell the Trump name.
Developing an image of power and wealth using licensing and a reality TV show, there is nothing Trump does better than build powerful brands.
Trump’s nickname is “Mogul” and it is hard not to imagine that he had something to do with it.
2. George W. Bush: Trailblazer (Originally “Tumbler”)
As stated earlier, the mission of secret service agents is to protect the President and Vice President and their families. Naturally, when George H.W. Bush was commander in chief, his son (George W. Bush) got a secret service detail. His codename as the son of the sitting president wasn’t so flattering: “Tumbler” - due to his partying and drinking.
When George W. Bush became president, his codename was changed to a less embarrassing one: “Trailblazer.”
1. Barack Obama: Renegade
President Barack Obama's codename was “Renegade.” Defined as someone who betrays and deserts an organization, country, or set of principles, Obama certainly looked like he was destined to shift from the mainstream Democratic Party and advance his own, much more progressive identity. History would certainly prove otherwise.