December 18th, 2008
04:46 PM ET
5 years ago

Minnesota governor preps to take possible action in recount

Pawlenty is weighing an interim Senate appointment, says his spokesman.
Pawlenty is weighing an interim Senate appointment, says his spokesman.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is quietly prepping for the possibility of a temporary Senate appointment, given the increasing likelihood the nation's lone unresolved Senate contest might not officially come to a close before Congress convenes again next month.

As the contentious Senate recount of the race between Republican Norm Coleman and Al Franken stretches more than six weeks past Election Day, the Republican governor's spokesman Brian McClung told CNN that the governor's office has asked the general counsel to Gov. Pawlenty "to begin looking into... what might trigger the need for a gubernatorial appointment to the U.S. Senate."

There is no word yet on who, if anyone, might be under consideration for a temporary Senate seat if a winner is not declared by the congressional swearing-in date of January 6.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Andrew from Illinois

    Pawlenty better not do what the Supreme Court did in Bush v Gore. Franken's on track to winning this thing and Pawlenty better not undermine democracy.

    December 18, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Taniel

    This has been an abysmal day for Norm Coleman, whose lead has collapsed to 48 votes. Franken is expected to take the lead in the coming hours. Full recap of the day's proceedings here.

    December 18, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. La Gorda

    As a good Liberal and a patriot, I hope of course that Franken has won the election, but if he hasn't then those who voted for Pawlenty deserve to see their candidate inaugurated. There is no national emergency that will get any worse or better because of a single Senator's vote. Minnesota can make do with a single Senator until they can get their votes counted.

    How many times are we going to go through this nonsense. Our states have had EIGHT LONG YEARS since the Florida recount disaster to fix the process, but our elected representatives have once again come up short. Since we elected Reagan, this country has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    I'm a computer programmer, and I know that a reliable, failsafe, auditable voting device can be designed. We, as a nation, choose to have an election year disaster year after year after year.

    December 18, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I GUESS THEY WILL KEEP COUNTING OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL FRANKEN FINALLY WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    AMAZING!!!!!!

    December 18, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Oh come on! How long will it take him to find in Coleman's favor?!

    December 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. TyWebb

    He might as well bring in Sarah Palin or Joe The Plumber.

    December 18, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Carl from MI

    There's still time for Norm Coleman to concede... watch what a sore loser he becomes when he finds out he lost the election!!

    December 18, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. saftgek

    Hmmm – let me see. Temporary appointment – involvement in the recount – Governor Pawlenty getting involved. I wonder just who he might appoint (chortle, chuckle, tee hee). Maybe he would appoint HIMSELF to the permanent position?

    Asking Governor Pawlenty to get involved in the recount/appointment process is like asking Al Capone to oversee the taxation process in the U.S.

    How the voters of Minnesota (my residence for 50 years before moving 6 years ago) could elect Tim Pawlenty is absolutely beyond me. Hubert Humphrey is likely continuously spinning in his grave!

    December 18, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. No incumbents 2010

    PLEASE make it go away!

    December 18, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. raagos

    that's bad idea . stop GOP TRYING STEAL ELECTION AGAIN

    December 18, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. EMAN

    This will not end well

    December 18, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GUESS THEY WILL KEEP COUNTING OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL FRANKEN FINALLY WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    AMAZING!!!

    December 18, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Matt

    Looks like the Republican Governor is getting scared about Franken's chances. See, if they declare Franken winner, Franken will demand to be seated (just as Coleman would do if he is declared winner). Pawlenty is no doubt hoping to thwart that by appointing a temp while his buddy Coleman fights it out in court. Problem is, the Governor should not get involved and has no authority to get involved or appoint a temp if either Franken or Coleman is declared winner. It may still be in court, but executive branch involvement would not be authorized and would create a Constitutional problem.

    December 18, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. alvino

    Pawlenty and the senate should abide by the recount. It will be over within a week.

    If Norm wins, Pawlenty can appoint his replacement when the illegal $75,000 campaign gift causes Norm to lose his seat.

    December 18, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I think a good choice would be Ronald McDonald...another clown.

    December 18, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Shannon

    As a Franken Supporter I have to say, I have been impressed with the way my state has handled this recount. You can view all the ballots on line that are disputed, you can watch the proceedings on line, and they have both Republicans and Democrats participating. While I hope Franken wins, I will be satisfied that the process was fair.

    December 18, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. I think sponge bob's opinion matters on this

    What a freak show

    December 18, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Ennis, LA

    Franken in the Senate? Why not Tie Fey? Queen Latifah?

    December 18, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Ernie in LA

    Are the people of Minnesota that stupid?

    December 18, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Drew

    Pawlenty does not represent MN. What everyone who talks about him as a possible GOP candidate on the nation level fails to realize is that MN has 4 prominent parties. The IND and Green parties both receive signifiacant vote here. Pawlenty actually went into office both times winning a smaller percentage of the popular than what McCain got in loosing to Obama.

    December 18, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. LYNETTE IN CA

    BACK OFF!!!
    HE'S JUST AS BAD AS BLAGOJEVICH!!!

    December 18, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Tom in S.A.

    Funny how most of you obviously don't even read the story according to your comments.
    Gov. Pawlenty "to begin looking into… what might trigger the need for a gubernatorial appointment to the U.S. Senate."

    There is no word yet on who, if anyone, might be under consideration for a temporary Senate seat if a winner is not declared by the congressional swearing-in date of January 6.

    Is he just suppose to leave it empty, might as well if Franken somehow comes out on top.

    December 18, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. vanessa

    Would he actually dare to do this? Interfere with the election process? Is he self-destructive?

    December 18, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  24. Ken

    Wouldn't Pawlenty just appoint Coleman as the interim senator if the legal battle continues? That way, Coleman could keep his seniority if he is deemed the winner later.

    December 18, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Former Republican

    Just count the votes. 1,2 ,3... no need to appoint anyone. Republicans have already lost all credibility. Geez.

    December 18, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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