The Minnesota Senate race is set for the state Supreme Court, and after that, it’s in GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s hands. If the court puts Democrat Al Franken on top, that puts Pawlenty, eyeing a 2012 presidential run, in a tight spot, writes Manu Raju for Politico: Does he certify Franken’s election, alienating Republicans, or does he risk angering Democrats by delaying further?
If Pawlenty issues the certificate, Dems are likely to try to put Franken in DC, even if Norm Coleman appeals to federal courts; without a certificate, they probably won’t seat him, say insiders. A rep for Pawlenty says it comes down to state law interpretation, not politics. But “the Republican Party nationally and in Minnesota is playing not just with fire, but with dynamite,” warns a Minnesota Democrat.