Your Candidates: Mitt ‘Javelin’ Romney, Rick ‘Petrus’ Santorum

by Patrick Brennan

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all now been granted Secret Service protection, and GQ reports the former two’s code names:

According to multiple campaign sources, Mitt Romney elected to call himself “Javelin.” And Rick Santorum chose “Petrus.” . . .

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.”) Perhaps “Javelin” is a reference to the ’60s muscle car made by American Motors Corporation, the company once run by George Romney. 

But when reporters tried to ascribe meaning to John McCain’s code name in the 2008 campaign—”Phoenix”—they were projecting. McCain had the Service chose a name for him. “Phoenix” was chosen randomly, and he liked it. His wife, Cindy, promptly chose “Parasol.”

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