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Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has been gearing up for a bid for the Republican presidential nomination for months. He chose not to run for re-election as governor. He has hit the early-state circuit. Everything is ready once he leaves office on Jan. 3.

Except for this: He may not be able to leave.

Under Minnesota law, the governor’s term extends as long as it takes to swear in a successor, even if a recount takes months. And that could just happen.

But basically there is no chance this could happen to Pawlenty, because the recount is almost certain not to make the vote count close enough to turn into a long process like the Franken/Coleman race. But The New York Times pressed on anyway for some reason. As for Pawlenty, he’s going to launch a book tour in January either way, no matter if his dumb old state needs him to do this “not president of the United States” job or not. [NYT]

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