comScore

Tim Pawlenty: Tom Emmer was "realistic" about his recount chances

All Pawlenty has to do now is decide whether or not to run for president.

All Pawlenty has to do now is decide whether or not to run for president.

A lot of Republicans were hoping against hope that the Dayton-Emmer recount process would eventually turn the tide in favor of their candidate.

But Gov. Tim Pawlenty said today that Tom Emmer "was realistic" about his chances of beating Mark Dayton when all the ballots were counted again by hand.

Could have fooled us, with all those cryptic charges of fraud, frivolous ballot challenges, and assertions about not getting rolled. But the race is over, and everyone is moving on.

[jump]

Pawlenty also confirmed that is was a state Supreme Court opinion issued yesterday that finally pulled the legs out from under whatever legal challenges Emmer might have tried to stand on as the number of votes favored his Democratic opponent.

"I think he's been realistic about this process. This is an automatic recount. The law requires it. And the canvassing board was going to get it resolved one way or another. But I think his main concern has been this issue of how could there be more votes than voters who signed in. And that's why he was waiting on that Supreme Court decision; to see how they justified saying it was OK to have more votes than voters."

We have more on that decision here. And you can watch the full interview with Pawlenty here.

There was talk during the Dayton-Emmer recount battle that Republicans were hoping for a drawn-out legal fight so that Gov. Tim Pawlenty could spend a little quality time with fellow GOPers now running the Legislature.

The idea was that, together, they could pass some Republican agenda items with zero interference from Democrats.

That's not going to happen, now that Emmer has conceded the race to Dayton. Instead, the only thing that Pawlenty has to do now is preside over an orderly transition of power on Jan. 3, and then his turn his attention to what may be an announcement in the new year about his much-rumored presidential ambitions.