Pawlenty Will Seat Franken - Unless He Doesn't Have To
Roll Call relies on some sources in the Coleman camp and concludes that the former Senator may give up the fight on appealing the election victory of Al Franken if the State Supreme Court comes down against him, because "Coleman anticipates that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) would ultimately sign Franken's certification papers."
Maybe Coleman knows something I don't, and probably so. But it looks to me that Pawlenty has given himself plenty of outs.
Pawlenty appeared this afternoon on the Neil Cavuto show, and Cavuto observed that Pawlenty's decision to not run for a third term, which many people see as a possible lead-up to a presidential campaign in 2012, also frees him up to fight for Norm Coleman. Pawlenty denied that he would behave in such a manner -- but he did point out some possible circumstances that could hold things up further:
"So you could be signing a certificate that would turn that Senate seat over to the Democrat Al Franken?" Cavuto asked. "And that would probably not suit you well."
"Well, I hope not, but you know I have to follow the law," Pawlenty responded. "You know, Neil, if the Minnesota Supreme Court says, 'You sign the certificate' -- and there's not an appeal or some other contrary direction from a federal court -- you know, that's my duty." (emphasis mine)
In other words, he'll sign the certificate as long as Coleman doesn't appeal to federal courts. And there's no real time-sensitive limit on how long Pawlenty could wait for that appeal to transpire.
I just don't think it's a closed deal, and Democrats need to keep up the pressure to get Franken seated.
...Kevin Drum is pretty skeptical of the sourcing on Coleman's wavering.