Ben Carson, the retired surgeon who has been surging in Republican polls, will also begin to receive Secret Service protection Wednesday morning. During the pick-your-code-name round of the September debate, Carson went for ONE NATION. Instead, Carson will become known as ELI to his handlers. Carson is a deeply spiritual man who frequently discusses his faith on the campaign trail, so Eli could be tied to the Biblical high priest whose two sons greatly disappointed him. Eli is also a Hebrew word meaning “heaven” or “ascent."
Trump’s and Carson’s campaigns were given a short list of four to five code names to pick from in meeting with the Secret Service on Monday. The candidates then got to chose their favorite. The names are generated not by the Secret Service but the White House Communications Agency, a military affairs unit inside the White House. The Secret Service uses a code name for each protected person, a handle that often connotes their profession, personality or reputation.
The Communications Agency and Secret Service began letting candidates and protectees have a say in choosing their handle in recent years after some didn’t much like their officially chosen code names. The most striking example was when George W. Bush was elected president and insisted that his code name from his time as the son of a president, TUMBLER, be changed to TRAILBLAZER.