U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria today and met with the country’s two candidates for president ahead of their February 14 election:

Remember it was just on Friday that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that it would be irresponsible for President Obama to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israel’s elections as to avoid any appearance of American interference in their election.

Is Sec. Kerry meeting with both candidates really all that different? For example, in this slideshow from Yahoo! News, the majority of the pics are of Sec. Kerry meeting with Nigeria’s current president and candidate Goodluck Jonathan.

Plus, Nigeria isn’t exactly a model of a free press. Any bets on how much of the local media coverage if of Kerry meeting with Jonathan and not his opponent?

Even the photo Sec. Kerry posted of meeting both candidates, the one with him and Jonathan looks like the two are on much friendlier terms. Optics does matter:

Anyway, to welcome Sec. Kerry to Nigeria, the Islamic terrorist extremist group Boko Haram attacked the towns of Maiduguri and Monguno:

Oh, and things can get really, really worse:

Not good.

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Related:

Twitchy coverage of Boko Haram