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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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @ddayen: #Bernie2016 event was pretty darn interesting tonight. Went to my local one down the street to observe. Felt like a new thing.
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bmaz @Ali_Gharib It IS unwatchable, and has been for a very long time, if not always. But, then, much of MSNBC is unwatchable.
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bmaz @jackgillum @AP @etuckerAP Good work guys.
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emptywheel RT @Ali_H_Soufan: Do you recall 1st group of US trained rebels recently entered into Syria from Turkey? Well, they have been kidnapped alle…
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emptywheel RT @BFriedmanDC: Palmer's club, Safari Club International, donates thousands to GOP candidates. #CecilTheLion http://t.co/ZWgR8aIu9u http:/…
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emptywheel @BaFana3 The "America's bad, terror-supporting allies," is easy. Anyone who made a big enough stink abt Iran "peace" deal gets free bombs.
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bmaz RT @nancyleong: Cops have taser, pepper spray, baton, other tools for self defense. If the gun is step one, there's no step two. #SamDubose
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emptywheel @pastordan No, I didn't. Yick. Grouchy.
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emptywheel @pastordan Grouchy CCD ladies, significantly. Then Benedict gave me an excuse never to set foot (I've reversed under Francis).
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emptywheel @p2wy But now you have the Bayless Torta app that will make OHare less intolerable.
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emptywheel @AaronBlakeWP Gender segregated rooms are bad enough for me. I was cohabiting w/boys in a purely platonic fashion at that age (whatever age)
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emptywheel @GregTBasta He's prolly happy he won't have the solid left of ACORN when he becomes Leader.
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