Who is Kamala Harris?

‘Pioneer’: Kamala Harris’s Secret Service code name revealed

Candidate herself has praised Joe Biden's 'audacity' in choosing a black woman for his running mate

Andrew Naughtie@andrewnaughtie
Tuesday 18 August 2020 15:44

As California senator Kamala Harris receives Secret Service protection as Joe Biden’s running mate, she has chosen a fitting code name as she embarks on her groundbreaking candidacy: Pioneer.

All those who receive protection from the US Secret Service – among them current and former presidents, along with their families – are identified by a code name, which they must choose from a list of words approved by the White House Communications Agency.

“Pioneer” matches the spirit of Ms Harris’s nomination, which has been received as a major step forward in US electoral politics. She herself has praised Mr Biden for his “audacity” in choosing a black woman to appear on a major party’s ticket for the first time.

She is far from the first candidate to embrace the meaning of their candidacy when choosing their Secret Service callsign. Barack and Michelle Obama chose “Renegade” and “Renaissance”, respectively.

Mr Biden’s chosen code name is “Celtic”, alluding to his Irish Catholic roots. He received Secret Service protection while in office as vice president, but only requested it again this spring after his wife, Jill – code-named “Capri” – was famously obliged to tackle a protester who crashed the stage at a campaign event.

On the other side of the aisle, Donald Trump suggested he go by “Humble” during a lightning round at a 2015 debate. But since he first received protection, he has gone by the more apt “Mogul”.

Hillary Clinton’s code name, meanwhile, has stuck with her since 1992: “Evergreen”.

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