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Life's Rich Pageant

Rally Runner Has Fallen

2:43 PM EDT on August 4, 2023

Still from a police body camera showing Rally Runner at the Jan. 6 riot
Image via Department of Justice

Yes, Donald Trump was indicted this week for his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, but that is hardly the biggest piece of recent news to come out of the Department of Justice. A much more notable villain has been brought one step closer to receiving his comeuppance: the Rally Runner.

According to a press release issued on Wednesday, a man named Daniel Donnelly Jr., aka Rally Runner, has been arrested in Missouri on felony and misdemeanor charges related to his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Rally Runner stands accused of stealing a police officer's riot shield and leading other insurrectionists down a tunnel on the Capitol grounds. He was identified through video footage of the riot, in which he stood out thanks to his signature red face paint and red clothes.

I probably don't need to tell you this, but Rally Runner is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before he arrived at the Jan. 6 insurrection, he was well known for going to Cardinals games, also decked out in red clothes and wearing red face paint, and running laps outside of the stadium. His running was meant to, somehow, inspire the Cardinals to score more runs. Here he is in action:

Since his arrest, Rally Runner has used his Facebook page to keep his followers updated on his predicament. In a post from yesterday, he declared himself a victim of political persecution and made clear that he is "just a regular guy who loves Trump, Jesus, America, and the Cardinals." In another, he made sure to praise the FBI agents and U.S. Marshals who captured him:

This isn't the first time Rally Runner has been betrayed by those he personally respects and admires. Since 2021, he's been accused by certain members of the right wing of being a federal agent who was planted at the Jan. 6 insurrection. This theory was most prominently floated on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show, which must have stung Rally Runner given, as the Huffington Post pointed out at the time, how much he likes Carlson:

“Rally Runner” did not respond to a request for comment. Ironically, he has posted several items praising the man now accusing him of being a double agent. He reposted a Donald Trump Jr. video captioned “Tucker Drops Nuke on Fauci Worshippers” in October, a screenshot from a Tucker Carlson show in August, a clip of Candace Owens on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that was posted in April and a clip of Carlson posted by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in June. “This is so true what he says,” he posted along with one Carlson clip last year. “Tucker nails it again! So true!” he wrote in another. “Look at my post from Tucker Carlson on my timeline recently, if Dems get Senate and President we are screwed. Everyone is screwed,” he wrote in November.

Huffington Post

You almost want to feel bad for this guy, whose slavish devotion to certain people and institutions led him to commit easily prosecutable crimes while wearing the world's most noticeable outfit, only for those same people and institutions to turn their backs and show how little of a shit they give about him or his passion for the cause. But then you remember that he's a sports fan, and that he should have learned his lesson about the futility of painting your face and joining a crowd of fellow fanatics a long time ago.

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