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Secret Service code names -- a fashion bias?

November 12, 2008 | 11:12 am

Rage_secret Sister paper Chicago Tribune is reporting that the soon-to-be first family has received their Secret Service code names: The president-elect is "Renegade," Michelle Obama is "Renaissance," Malia is "Radiance," and Sasha is "Rosebud" (which may finally solve the ending of "Citizen Kane" after all these years...).

The Rage has always been a fan of this time-honored tradition because it gives us a lighthearted look at how the federal agency tasked with protecting our nation's leaders seems to perceive them. President Reagan was famously dubbed "Rawhide," for example, while President Carter was "Deacon." Our favorite, given President Kennedy''s oft-rumored amatory dalliances, was JFK's code name: "Lancer."

So Obama's moniker of "Renegade" seems appropriate enough, but does the first lady-elect's tag of "Renaissance" indicate a fashion commentary by the Secret Service? (As a rule, family members all have nicknames that start with the same letter.) Style watchers around the globe (including our own fashion critic) have noted that Michelle Obama's high-low style that includes Narciso Rodriguez dresses and J. Crew ensembles may be ushering in a new era of inside-the-Beltway style.

We can only guess the Secret Service secretly approves of her fashion sense -- after all, they could have dubbed her "Ready-to-Wear," right?

Photo: (From left) Malia, Michelle and Sasha Obama, on stage at the Democratic National Convention in August, have been bestowed the Secret Service code names Radiance, Renaissance and Rosebud, respectively. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times