John Kerry Finally Meets a Close Election He Wants to Recount

The other day, Hugo Chavez’ successor Nicolás Maduro beat opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski by 2% of the vote. In the days since, opposition figures have sown violence, claiming vote fraud.

Yesterday, Secretary of State Kerry encouraged a recount.

Mr. Kerry, in comments to a House committee, said, “We think there ought to be a recount.” He added that he had not yet evaluated whether Washington would recognize Mr. Maduro’s victory.

This, in spite of a leaked recording of a close Capriles advisor admitting that this result was a political triumph but an electoral defeat.

This, in spite of the fact that when Bush beat Kerry with precisely the same percentage of the vote in 2004 amid reports of (limited) electoral oddities, Kerry chose not to demand a recount.

On November 2, 2004, George W. Bush beat John Kerry 50.7 percent to 48.3 percent. Venezuela’s foreign minister immediately (either that night or the day after) recognized the results: “we will hope that in this second mandate we can improve our relations.”

Fast forward nine years, and Nicolás Maduro beats Henrique Capriles with 50.7% of the vote and the US refuses to recognize the result. “Look, we’re just not there yet,” said a State Department spokesman (who now works for—wait for it— John Kerry). “Obviously, we have nearly half the country that had a different view. And so we’ll continue to consult, but we’re not there yet.”

Most interesting of all is something James Clapper just said in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. In response to a question from Richard Blumenthal about whether there had been fraud in the election, Clapper said (my rough transcription):

There may have been some, but it’s unclear whether it was of sufficient magnitude to merit recount. Right now it doesn’t appear to be.

In other words, even the intelligence says, whatever fraud there was, it wasn’t enough to affect the outcome.

At this point, the Administration’s hesitation at recognizing Maduro and Kerry’s support for a recount do nothing but stoke violence.

Which I can only assume is the point.

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3 Responses to John Kerry Finally Meets a Close Election He Wants to Recount

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JimWhiteGNV RT @Laurie_Garrett: Dear @ChrisChristie if you stay in the race STOP talking about #Zika & quarantine. My take https://t.co/1tBeCHk8B5 @The
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emptywheel @benjaminwittes At least my memory isn't going worse than I already thought! Thanks. @csoghoian @Susan_Hennessey
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emptywheel @benjaminwittes Which is some of what we're learning from decisions pre- and post-OPM hack @csoghoian @Susan_Hennessey
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emptywheel @benjaminwittes I ask bc I think NatSec elite at least APPEARS to show similar disinterest in certain CI threats @csoghoian @Susan_Hennessey
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emptywheel @benjaminwittes Thanks Remember the redesign survey, just not the Q. @csoghoian @Susan_Hennessey
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emptywheel @Obornee Not sure either requires voters to distinguish. Q is just what white working/middle class responds to, if they vote @ThePlumLineGS
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emptywheel @sremkusrenner We could get into discussion of how Dems responded to collapse of unions. But there's an election to be won @ThePlumLineGS
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emptywheel @sremkusrenner Read the post! I think it's one of best descriptions/comparisons of appeal of Trump/Bernie. @ThePlumLineGS
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emptywheel @benjaminwittes When you say none were clamoring, did you ask? Surprised your readership wouldn't see value. @csoghoian @Susan_Hennessey
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emptywheel RT @JennaMC_Laugh: FBI says it had 440 "terrorism disruptions" in 2015, but November DHS doc mentioned only 1 "foiled plot" https://t.co/aq
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emptywheel "Trump says our elites are weak, stupid, and corrupt. Sanders says our elites are being *corrupted*." https://t.co/sqEkvk94FV
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emptywheel As if Pavlov had trained them when the bell rang they got their bailout. https://t.co/tbJSdAvTIP
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