This is why they are paid the big bucks. (Well, not such big bucks, but you get my drift. I never beat up on the salaries we pay to elected officials as they do a lot of work and get little respect at times.) But in the end they are there to make the tough decisions.
The legal fight between Al Franken and Norm Coleman is headed to the desk of Gov. Tim Pawlenty — a no-win predicament for a Minnesota Republican with his eye on a White House run in 2012.
Franken won big Tuesday when a three-judge panel allowed the review of no more than 400 absentee ballots in a race he currently leads by 225 votes. Coleman’s camp says an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court is coming; once that’s done, the dispute lands in Pawlenty’s lap.
If Franken’s ahead at that point, Pawlenty will have a choice: sign the election certificate that will allow Democrats to seat Franken in the Senate or play to the Republicans whose support he’d need in 2012 by withholding the certificate while Coleman challenges the election in the federal court system.
“The Republican Party nationally and in Minnesota is playing not just with fire, but with dynamite,” said Rep. James L. Oberstar, a Democrat and the dean of Minnesota’s congressional delegation.
Oberstar — like a lot of Democrats — says November’s election should finally be over as soon as the Minnesota Supreme Court rules.
If Pawlenty and the Republicans push it further, he says, “this thing is going to blow up in their face.”