‘Renegade’ and ‘Renaissance’. . .Better Than ‘Maverick’ and ‘Medieval’


Los Angeles Times correspondent P.J. Huffstutter has pool reporter duty today and sent in this gem. . .

However, your pool reporter did spot something sort of charming in today’s Chicago Sun-Times:

According to gossip Michael Sneed, Obama’s new Secret Service name is “Renegade.”
Mrs. Obama’s is reportedly “Renaissance.”

Your pool reporter has been unable to confirm this — so it’s not clear that it’s true. But if it is, it’s sweet.

It is true.
Way better than Maverick and Medieval. . .
— Steve Clemons


25 comments on “‘Renegade’ and ‘Renaissance’. . .Better Than ‘Maverick’ and ‘Medieval’

  1. rich says:

    Jo-Ann Mort at TPM has dug up / compiled some info on Rahm Emanuel’s actual, you know, track record on the Mid-East. Should throw a little light on his likely outlook and maybe a little cold water on the suppositional, overheated rhetoric.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Can we give Bush and Cheney the code names “Satan 1” and “Satan 2”????
    And will Obama continue the carnage? It appears so, considering the people he is surrounding himself with.
    Who can remember all the crimes, ineptitudes, malfeasances and disasters the last eight years have wrought, fully enabled by these cowardly politicos on the left who were supposed to represent the will off the people? What actions have been taken as a result of the 2006 mandate the citizens gave their “representatives”?
    Where is the two TRILLION dollars the DOD “misplaced” under Dov Zakhiem’s supervision?
    Why isn’t New Orleans rebuilt?
    Why have none of the upper echelon architects of the tortures at Abu Ghraib been held accountable?
    Why did this cowardly piece of shit Harry Reid allow Roberts to stall and whitewash the Phase Two Report?
    Who the fuck is Pelosi to take impeachment “off the table”? Does this treasonous crone think that she and her privileged elite ruling class do not have to enforce, obey, or respect the law?
    How much respect for the law can we expect from Obama, when he has stated that Bush’s actions are not egregious enough to warrant impeachment? One and a quarter MILLION dead Iraqis, MURDERED with false intelligence, fabricated threats, and violation of international law does not merit impeachment, indictment, prosecution, and punishment?
    Its truly astounding the level of irrelevent fluff we are being fed to distract us from the FACT that we now have a ruling class that hold themselves above the law, are responsible for unspeakable atrocities, crimes, and human suffering, and who have long ago shed any pretense of actually “representing” the will and the best interests of the people.


  3. leo says:

    “I find it hard to believe that the secret Service simply releases the true code names of those it is tasked to protect.”
    The explanation given was that advances in communications security made it ok to release the names, WH codenames were made public in previous administrations as well (even without “advances in communications security”).


  4. TonyForesta says:

    The secret service is a gop arm, and not really interested in defending democrats. Barak’s team needs to hire a chosen PMC, or PIC to defend the next administration. The Secret Service is suspect, and partisan, and not interested in the future of a democratic leadership. Barak must seek alternative, or ulterior means of security, and NOT trust the socalled Secret Service to defend him or his family.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I find it hard to believe that the secret Service simply releases the true code names of those it is tasked to protect. My bet is that there is one set of monickers handed out to the press, and another set that is actually used in day to day operations.


  6. TonyForesta says:

    The larger piont is there is a huge pool of outstanding democratic leaders to appoint. In the end the policies are what defines an administration. The previous administration in every field FAILED, and cost the American public, and the world massively in terms of treasure, blood, and lost credibilty. Barak has the opportunity to mark a new direction, and real change, and the individuals he appoints can move America in different more efficent, less costly and bloody, – not to mention less criminal activities and pursuts… – or not. We shall see.
    I like Hillary as SecState. She’s tough, wordly, and knowlegeable, & hopefully, determined to put America’s best interests in front of the interests of America’s oligarchs.


  7. Bartolo says:

    Why would we want a Secretary of State who needed to be convinced that our best interests are not in endless land wars in asia?


  8. Leslie Kallen says:

    Changing the word “kibbitz” into a verb…don’t know about that-you don’t kibbitz around you kid around or flap and yap, etc.I know in present contunuos tense you say kibbitzing but…


  9. koreyel says:

    Americans are going to absolutely love Michelle…
    She is smart.
    She is grounded.
    She knows suffering.
    She is human.


  10. Paul Norheim says:

    You enjoy playing with words, Kotzabasis? Why don`t you put in
    the Secret Service code name “Trailblazer” instead of “Renegade”,
    and you have summed up what happened under Bush – and in an
    astonishing “Tempo”, just to add Laura`s code name into the
    So here we go:
    “It certainly was the reign of the Trailblazer that in an astonishing
    tempo post 9/11 brought down the 150 year old radiance of the
    American Renaissance.”


  11. kotzabasis says:

    It will certainly be the reign of the ‘Renegade’ that with his soft policies in the hardest of worlds post 9/11 will bring down the 150 year old ‘radiance’ of the American ‘Renaissance’. The question however bounces from its soft cushions whether the power elite will be bystanders to the ending of American paramountsy or whether they will take action to stop it.
    Hence it’s not beyond the limits of imagination that in these most dangerous times the ‘violence’ of the American Renaissance by Obama could conceive the illegitimate child of the American “Eighteenth of Brumaire”.


  12. leo says:

    “Supposedly Malia’s is ‘Radiance’ and Sasha’s is ‘Rosebud.’
    ‘Radiance’ is such a lovely code name!”
    I’ll enthusiastically second this, they’re all great codenames — nods to the Secret Service.


  13. David says:

    Well said, Wig Wag. Great picture, Steve, and a great quip.
    35 miles line of sight to the Kennedy Space Center, standing in a Kohl’s parking lot with an unobstructed view of the night sky. What a sight. I have been watching launches since my high school days in the 50s. It never gets old.
    Vaya con Dios, shuttle crew, and may St. Christopher see you safely home (this from a non-theist, but it is no less sincerely felt for all that).


  14. FaceOnMars says:

    I’m sure the secret service would have a better filter on such things then me, but it seems to have two very similar sounding names might be a source of confusion.
    Both have three sylables and almost share the first two. If there’s ever a heated situation, this could be a source of confusion.


  15. carol says:

    I don’t really understand why we need to know their code names…what is the reason for the public knowing??
    All I know is that they are a lovely family and it will be great to have such a young and vibrant family in the White House.
    Looking forward to having President elect Obama sworn in on Jan 20th, what a wonderful and historic day it will be.


  16. WigWag says:

    ok, Dan Kervick. Will do.


  17. Dan Kervick says:

    WigWag and questions also attached their comments on the Hillary thread to the wrong post, following my blunder. They should attach them to the correct post.
    I feel like I should be wearing one of those signs that says: “Construction Vehicle; Do Not Follow.”


  18. pt says:

    I don’t understand why this is news. The Obamas’ secret service names have been out and public for over a year now. why all the fuss over an old story?


  19. questions says:

    Assuming that this is a genuine name float and not a Clinton machination to destroy Richardson (see some kos diary on this), what I could see HRC’s bringing on board includes an appetite for domestic policy wonkiness that might actually be good for cross border thinking. A nation’s domestic scene is largely determinative of its foreign policy. We don’t do a great job tying these together — this is Obama’s dignity initiative. Not democracy at the point of a gun, but a steady move towards respecting the lives under the regime. Not a bad place to negotiate from. Second, I don’t think Clinton operates in a bipolar/Cold War framework. She’s still Cold War generation, but not a trained Sovietologist. I don’t think she’d write “Why We’ll Miss the Cold War” and that I find to be very comforting.
    Her hawkishness on Iraq and Iran was related directly to her campaign for the presidency. It’s a sad bs positioning thing, but she won’t, thankfully, be president.
    She’s got a deep enough voice not to grate, a grasp of briefing book issues, she’s smart on her feet, and I think she might know how to shut her mouth, not get too obsessed and move on as needed. It seems that she stayed in the primaries as long as she did because she was fearful Obama couldn’t win. Obama did win. She has moved forward.
    On the negative side (this from the Kos diary), her husband wouldn’t pass the disclosure test and she can’t run a budget very well.
    Also, she may be too self-certain to negotiate well, and simultaneously too malleable. Think about all the drinking she did to attract those hard working white people– a sign of having no interior commitments. And think about her refusing to give up segments of the health care reform in order to compromise and get a partial solution through — a sign of being too committed to her way or the highway. A lot would depend on whether or not she could judge when to be oatmeal and when to be three-day old bread. I’m not convinced that she gets all of this right.
    We don’t really know if this is a genuine float or something to take up the empty space left over from the campaign. But it’s fun to speculate!


  20. Carroll says:

    I think they got the names backwards. Michelle strikes me as more of a Renegade than Obama.
    She seemed to have more fire in the belly about human injustices before she got her public statements tamped down by the compaign handlers.
    I read that she is going to be a unHillary, uninvolved first lady. If that is true she can still privately give Obama hell night and day if he offends her conscience. I hope she does.


  21. WigWag says:

    “Naming her Secretary of State would somewhat neutralize Bill Clinton, who might be somewhat less inclined to go off on his own global campaign to affirm his status of Top Democratic Alpha Male, where he might start issuing attention-grabbing global messages that compete with the Obama administration messages.”
    Dan Kervick and everyone else should be praying that an Obama foreign policy is as reminiscent of Bill Clinton’s foreign policy as possible.
    Bill Clinton was the most successful foreign policy President since Harry Truman. It’s true that Clinton had some serious failures like Rwanda and Mogadishu and it’s true that other Presidents had major foreign policy achievements (Nixon opened China, Carter had Camp David) but Bill Clinton had the most progressive and profoundly positive foreign policy in modern times. Bill Clinton:
    1)Brokered a peace deal between the dueling parties in Northern Ireland by appointing uber negotiator (and former Senate Majority Leader) George Mitchell as an interlocutor. Tony Blair and Gerry Adams both credit the major role played by Clinton in encouraging the negotiations. In part, as a result of Clinton’s efforts a bloody conflict that had lasted decades was solved. Clinton traveled to both Ireland and Northern Ireland and was greeted by rapturous crowds.
    2)Brokered a peace deal between Israel and Jordan, Israel’s second peace treaty with an Arab State. Clinton also worked tirelessly to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and Syria but failed in large part because Yasser Arafat did not want Syria to sign a peace treaty with Israel until the Palestinians did.
    3)Arranged negotiations and the amous “handshake” between Arafat and Rabin on the White House lawn and worked assiduously until the very last day of his Administration to personally negotiate a peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians. By taking a relatively even handed approach, Clinton won the trust of both sides. The talks finally failed and there is a difference of opinion about who was responsible for the failure. Dennis Ross blamed Arafat and the Palestinians; Robert Malley blamed Ehud Barak and Israel. Regardless of which party was really to blame, one thing is clear; Clinton worked his heart out to negotiate a settlement. The failure belonged to the Israelis and the Palestinians, not to him. When the parties finally decide they want peace, the peace treaty they develop will almost certainly closely resemble the treaty drafted by Clinton and his team in 2000.
    4)Prevented North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. Thanks to the deal Clinton made with the North Koreans, they didn’t produce fissionable materials for a single weapon during Clinton’s years in office; under George W. Bush, North Korea has produced enough fissionable material for a half dozen weapons.
    5)Killed the idea of deploying Star Wars technology developed under Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Deploying Star Wars (which the Republicans desperately wanted to do even though it won’t work) would have needlessly riled up the Russians and made the world less safe not more safe. The Clinton Administration also worked closely with an increasingly frail Boris Yeltsin to improve Russian-US relations and to help institutionalize democracy in Russia.
    6)Guaranteed democracy in Haiti. When the Haitian military ousted the popularly elected and wildly popular Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Clinton first offered sanctuary to the Haitian President and then used his influence to peacefully topple the coup which allowed Aristide to take office. Impoverished Haitians were overjoyed with Clinton’s involvement.
    7)Intervened in Yugoslavia. While his intervention in the Yugoslavian conflict was late, the Dayton accords negotiated by Secretary of State Warren Christopher and diplomat Richard Holbrooke solved a brutal internecine war between ethnic Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia- Herzegovina. The Accords, which are still in effect 12 years later, saved thousands of lives and facilitated the break up of Yugoslavia in as peaceful a way as possible. Although this was a problem that should have been resolved by the Europeans, they were too disjointed to act and through its leadership, the Clinton Administration saved the day.
    8)Fought ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. After Slobodan Milosevic displaced one million predominantly Muslim Kosovars (and killed 11,000 of them according to UN envoy Carla Del Ponte) in the largest instance of ethnic cleansing since World War II, Clinton intervened by bombing Serbia. The bombing campaign produced no American deaths and very few Serbian deaths, but the property damage it inflicted motivated Serbia to withdraw and reverse the ethnic cleansing. Millions of Muslims world wide were grateful that Clinton intervened on the behalf of their co-religionists who were being oppressed by Orthodox Christians.
    9)Cuba. Bill Clinton’s policy towards Cuba was as progressive as the times would allow. To open up relations with Cuba during the 1990’s would have been political suicide. Don’t believe it? Remember Elian Gonzalez? At great political risk to the Democratic Party, Clinton ordered his Attorney General, Janet Reno, to do the right thing and have the FBI forcibly take custody of Elian Gonzalez so he could be returned to his father in Cuba. Five months later, Al Gore lost the Presidential Election because he lost Florida by less than 500 votes.
    10)Solved the Asian financial crisis. When South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines melted down in 1997, hundreds of thousands of people in Asia lost their jobs. Bill Clinton and his Treasury Secretary, Bob Rubin engineered a $120 billion bailout that arrested the crisis. Similarly Clinton helped save Mexico during its financial crisis in 1994. He also helped Russia and South America maneuver through the financial crises that they experienced in the 1990s. By doing so, he saved hundreds of thousands of jobs in those countries and in the United States as well.
    11)Negotiated a settlement to the India-Pakistan nuclear crisis of 1998. When India and Pakistan each conducted successful tests of nuclear weapons within two weeks of each other during a major crisis over Kashmir, the world was on the precipice of a nuclear war in South Asia. Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madelyn Albright personally intervened and got both sides to stand down.
    12)Iraq. We know now that Bill Clinton’s sanctions regime worked. As a result of the sanctions that Clinton imposed, Sadaam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. Had George Bush allowed Hans Blix to verify the success of the Clinton policy, the world would be a far better place today.
    I would be interested to know which President since World War II (other than Truman who presided over the world changing Marshall Plan) has a similar record of accomplishment.
    If Barack Obama’s foreign policy is anywhere near as successful as Bill Clinton’s we will be very lucky indeed.


  22. Dan Kervick says:

    Supposedly Malia’s is “Radiance” and Sasha’s is “Rosebud”.
    “Radiance” is such a lovely code name!


  23. Dan Kervick says:

    Sorry, I put the above comment under the wrong post. I also put it in its correct place under the Clinton post.


  24. Dan Kervick says:

    The benefits of Clinton?
    1. It’s better to have her inside the administration than outside of it.
    2. She has the tools: she’s smart and a good communicator, with a strong knowledge of global affairs and lots of existing personal relationships with global leaders.
    3. Naming her Secretary of State would somewhat neutralize Bill Clinton, who might be somewhat less inclined to go off on his own global campaign to affirm his status of Top Democratic Alpha Male, where he might start issuing attention-grabbing global messages that compete with the Obama administration messages.
    4. She’s not Richard Holbrooke.
    The bad?
    5. Her policies: these have tilted in the hawkish, neoconservative direction. She is not entirely in the Lieberman-Bayh neo wing of the Democratic foreign policy establishment. But she’s very, very close to it. That’s bad news.
    6. The message it sends. With the appointment of Emanuel – he of the Arab-hating dad – the conciliatory gestures toward Lieberman and now the floating of Clinton, Obama hasn’t exactly been sending any messages of “change” so far. If he keeps going in this same direction, he is going to piss away quickly his window of opportunity to change the perception of the US in key trouble spots.
    Would Clinton be loyal to the Obama agenda? I think so, probably. Her record is as a focused, detail-oriented, achievement-driven person, striving to do a good job in any task she is assigned or takes on. So long as Obama has a clear agenda, I think she will work hard to execute it. On the other hand, I worry about what her preconditions might be for taking the job. And she comes with a pre-existing public perception of her own stances.
    If Obama is really out to change the global perception of the United States – and I don’t just mean in Paris, London, Tokyo and Berlin, but in the Middle East, the global south and the developing world – he is going to need to stop worrying about reassuring the old guard and established stakeholders, the representatives of the tried, true and failed, and start making some appointments that represent creative thinking, a new generation, and some genuinely new departures and new directions. Clinton does not represent those new departures. Nor does Holbrooke or Albright. Nor does Richardson. Nor does Kerry.
    If one wants to go with an old veteran selection, my choice would still be George Mitchell, who from my perspective has been one of the smartest, most reasonable, most honest and most able Democratic public servants for decades. He has a reputation for open-minded, scrupulous fairness, and has a lawyerly, conflict-resolving disposition which sits well with Obama’s own tendencies. He has a track record of integrity, probity, success and respect. He seems to grasp the full complexity of problems, and seems notably lacking in favoritism and ideological axes to grind, but he actually solves problems. He has part-Arab ancestry, but seems well-respected by fair-minded Israelis.
    There is a worrisome trend developing in the major media discussions of foreign policy, including at the New York Times and Washington Post, and at some of our embassies. Powerful establishment voices are trying to push an agenda of “continuity plus a bit more competence”. There has been a steady stream of “expert analysts” armed with a barrage of reasons for why Obama won’t change, can’t change or shouldn’t change anything important. These are people from both parties who seem invested in the general approach pursued during the past eight years, either ideologically or because they are feeding at the trough, or because are seeking to preserve their influence and reputation. They appear quite worried Obama will actually rock the boat or change direction in some significant way, and are looking for only modest changes in tactic and techniques, with no real change in strategic direction – just a bit more diplomatic happy talk and some better fact-finding before making decisions. Because the Obama team is not really saying anything publicly right now, the public space is being filled with these dismal establishment voices and their stay-the-course counsels. They have very large media platforms and are trying to win the public relations game before the key decisions are actually made. Obama needs to get some surrogates out there to at least broaden the discussion and challenge complacent ideas, or he will get outmaneuvered. The election campaign is over, but the campaign for hearts and minds and public opinion never ceases.


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