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More oh-eight: The DNC strikes back

Per NBC's Domenico Montanaro, Abby Livingston, and John Yang… The Democratic National Committee took steps on Saturday that could strip the Florida Dem Party of all of its 210 delegates to next year's nominating convention -- unless it acts in the next 30 days to delay its delegate-selection contest, now set by state law for Jan. 29, by at least a week. The DNC is taking a hard line in this case because, officials say, if they don't and Florida is allowed hold its primary before Feb. 5, other states would break ranks and push to have earlier contests as well. "I hesitate of see what happens if we show somehow some wiggle room in the process," said Democratic committee member Donna Brazile, who ran Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.

DNC rules say no contest can be held before Feb. 5 except for Iowa (Jan. 14), Nevada (Jan. 19), New Hampshire (Jan. 22) and South Carolina (Jan. 29). The Florida primary date was set by a state law pushed by the GOP governor and the GOP-controlled legislature, which state Democratic officials say they opposed. DNC members suggested making the Jan. 29 primary a non-binding "beauty contest" and then hold a later event to allocate delegates. The DNC is offering the Florida party financial and organization help to stage caucuses on or after Feb. 5.

The New York Times: Beyond what is emerging as a clear embarrassment for the party, the practical results of this dispute were unclear. To a considerable extent, it could prove to be little more than a reminder of how little authority the party appears to have over its nominating process this year… Florida Democratic leaders said they were resistant to bowing to the party's demands, having already refused twice. And assuming the party has a presumptive nominee by the time the convention is seated in Denver next year, it will be the nominee -- not party officials -- who would have the power to resolve a dispute over who is seated."

Candidates are giving money to lawmakers in the early primary states, and the Des Moines Register notes how much.

On Sunday, the New York Times wrote that no fewer "than five presidential contenders -- Mr. Edwards, Senators Christopher J. Dodd, Sam Brownback and Barack Obama, and the almost-candidate Fred D. Thompson -- have children under 10, a circumstance historians say has no recent precedent. It is a case of campaign demographics colliding with larger ones: some contenders are running for president at relatively young ages, while others -- like many voters -- are having children later in life."