Pawlenty: I’ll Certify Franken’s Election — If There’s No Order Against It From A Federal Court

June 3, 2009 1:22 pm

This is the sort of thing that gets people wondering whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) will actually sign a certificate of election for Al Franken — as he’s said he would do — once the Minnesota Supreme Court hands down its expected ruling in Al’s favor.

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.”

The big question here on everyone’s minds, when Pawlenty brings up the possibility of a federal court intervening to stop a Franken certification — which the national GOP leadership has openly called for doing — is what exactly he might mean by this. Is he playing a sort of wink-wink, nudge-nudge, and subtly asking for this to occur? Or is he simply saying he’ll follow the law however it works out, and then innocently listing all the possible permutations?

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