Mitt Romney Would like to Be Known as Javelin. And Santorum? Call Him Petrus.

Mitt Romney, a.k.a. Javelin, and Rick Santorum, a.k.a. Petrus.Mitt Romney, a.k.a. Javelin, and Rick Santorum, a.k.a. Petrus.The Secret Service called Senator John McCain "Phoenix." His wife, Cindy, picked the name "Parasol." President Ronald Reagan's code name was "Rawhide" -- pretty fitting, considering his past experience acting in Westerns. President Bill Clinton was "Eagle."

Mitt Romney would like to be called "Javelin," which is the name of one of the cars produced by the American Motors Company when his dad ran the place (and one of the first cars Romney ever had). And Rick Santorum? He's picked "Petrus."

"Yeah, that's the name, Petrus," he chuckled when Fox News' Greta Van Susteren asked him about it.

"Petrus is the Latin word for Peter, and you've heard me talk repeatedly about my grandfather, his name was Pietro," he explained. "I didn't think Pietro would work. It's a name, and I didn't want a name, and so I thought Petrus, which is the Latin word for 'Peter' and for 'rock,' was a more apt name than the Italian name for Peter." It's also a reference to Santorum's religious roots: St. Peter was the name of the first pope of the Catholic church.

Jezebel.com is quick to point out that both GOP presidential hopefuls have picked names that are rather, um, phallic. But they're also evocative of power, and that's probably the point.

Family members all have code names that start with the same letter, and for the Obamas, that letter is R: The President is "Renegade," the first lady is "Renaissance," and the girls are "Radiance" and "Rosebud." And, yes, it's OK that you know that.

"Call signs are designated jointly by Secret Service and the military [White House Military Office] for communications purposes," Ed Donovan, the Special Agent in Charge of the government and public affairs shop, told GQ recently. Nowadays, it's done more for tradition than for security. "Given modern capabilities to secure communications through encryption, there is no longer any security relevance to protectee call signs," he explained.

The names chosen by the Secret Service sometimes seem to describe -- and sometimes critique -- the people whom they protect. Devout Baptist Jimmy Carter was "Deacon." Richard Nixon, whose reputation was tarnished by the Watergate scandal, was code name "Searchlight." President John F. Kennedy, known for his way with the ladies, was called "Lancer." Vice President Dick Cheney was "Angler." Vice President Dan Quail was "Scorecard."

Presidential kids -- even grown-up ones -- get colorful code names, too. Caroline Kennedy and JFK Jr. were "Lyric" and "Lark," respectively. Amy Carter was "Dynamo" and Jenna Bush was "Twinkle" (her twin sister, Barbara, was "Turquoise"). George W. Bush's code name, "Tumbler," was a holdover from when his father ("Timberwolf") was president. Chelsea Clinton was "Energy." Karenna Gore was known to the Secret Service as "Smurfette" -- a name she picked herself.

What code name would you pick?

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