Bison Man for president and other stars of the US Capitol riots

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.

Turns out Donald Trump is a wrong ‘un. Who knew?

At the time of writing, the U.S. Capitol building is still being disinfected after F**kface Von Clownstick riled up his supporters into such a state that they broke into the corridors of power and caused chaos.

One of the defining images of the whole tawdry affair was of a grinning idiot waving at the camera while carrying a podium that he’d just stolen. My American colleague Ryan Lizza tweeted a pic of the man with the caption: “Via Getty, one of the rioters steals a podium from the Capitol” and later had to clarify that “Via Getty” was a reference to the photo agency that provided the image and not the rioter’s name! Frankly, the human race is doomed.

But it wasn’t “Grinning podium theft man” who became the figurehead of the riot. That honor went to Jake Angeli, or as you probably now know him, “Bison Man.” And yes, it should be Bison Man and not Buffalo Man because the former have beards and the latter don’t, and Angeli also has a beard. It’s important to be accurate when identifying less intelligent creatures.

Angeli either got that nickname because a) he’s as thick as a bison omelet or b) because he dresses in fur and horns or c) because he produces 10 to 12 quarts of dung and gallons of urine a day. Either way, he’s now a leading light of the mob as well as being a QAnon figurehead and as such wields not-inconsiderable power. He even reportedly grabbed a microphone at one point and told the rioters to go home. It can only mean one thing: He’s running for president in 2024.

Another, er, star of the protests was the man who sat at Nancy Pelosi’s desk with his feet up, who’s been identified as one Richard Barnett, who calls himself Bigo — presumably because he’s a big fan of the archeological site of the same name in Uganda. Asked by a reporter why he was holding a letter to a Missouri congressman taken from Pelosi’s office, Barnett said he did not steal it but left a quarter on Pelosi’s desk (the price of a regular stamp in the United States is $0.55).

Then there’s Elizabeth from Knoxville, Tennessee. We know that because she volunteered the information to a reporter after complaining that she was maced by police when all she was trying to do was storm the Capital. “It’s a revolution,” she declared, seeming rather put out that the revolutionaries were greeted with mace rather than cake.

So there we have it, come 2024 it’ll be Bison Man as president, Via Getty as veep, Maced Elizabeth as Secretary of State and Bigo as chair of the Federal Reserve. A slight improvement on the past four years, I’m sure you’ll agree.


“The winner of the Belgian vaccine lottery took his success with good grace.”

Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Last week we gave you this photo:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“Sorry, Ursula, I don’t seem to be able to find my manners. I thought I had left them in these suit pockets somewhere…” by Sebastian Jester.

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.

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