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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bmaz @ScottGreenfield I went to one here+then had couple of drinks with Radley afterwards. Great guy and interesting conversation. You should go
bmaz Glad Bradford is gone from West Point, but let's be honest, @rgoodlaw is pretty dangerous!
emptywheel @gilton3r It was acknowledged in Congressional testimony.
emptywheel Valet parking in the 'hood is going to go up to $15 now...
JimWhiteGNV RT @emptywheel: Why do we forget we had an acknowledged covert program to train rebels in Syria in 2013?
emptywheel Why do we forget we had an acknowledged covert program to train rebels in Syria in 2013?
bmaz @imillhiser Seriously, that's about it. Jeebus.
bmaz RT @imillhiser: I feel sorry for reporters who stayed up all night last night and all they learned was that Hillary once sent an email abou…
bmaz @joshgerstein Scandalous!
JimWhiteGNV In which @emptywheel documents chapter 846 in the recurring failure known as David Petraeus:
emptywheel Dear 2nd C: DCC bumped Klayman BECAUSE he's wireless not business subscriber but we won't tell you that part. <3 DOJ
JimWhiteGNV It's starting to come together! New pantry cabinets are going to fit the opening.
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