BURLINGTON, Vt. – Former President Carter (search) will offer words of praise for Howard Dean (search) when the Democratic front-runner attends church services with him in Georgia on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, aides to the two men said Tuesday.
Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi said they don't expect Carter to make an endorsement but are excited about appearing with the former president so close to voting in Iowa. Carter has said he will not express any preference about who should be the nominee.
Dean, a former Vermont governor, is locked in a tight race with Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (search) in Iowa's Jan. 19 presidential caucuses, according to recent polls. Dean is leading in the polls in New Hampshire and nationwide.
A show of support from Carter could boost Dean's appeal in the South. Carter, a Baptist, also could help Dean in his recent effort to appeal to religious voters.
Carter's son, Chip, also has been campaigning for Dean in Iowa.
Details of the trip to Georgia are still being worked out, but Dean plans to accompany Carter when he teaches Sunday school in his home town of Plains, Ga., said Deanna Congileo, spokeswoman for the Carter Center in Atlanta.
Dean's advisers originally planned the appearance with Carter on Jan. 4, but had to cancel those plans because of a scheduling conflict. They rescheduled for the day before the Iowa contest.
Dean has sought Carter's advice throughout the campaign. During a television appearance in September, Carter said he sees a little of himself in Dean.
Carter said Dean visited his home in 2002 "when nobody was paying any attention to me at all" to ask the former president about his campaign 28 years ago.
Like Dean, Carter entered the presidential race as a former governor considered a long shot for the nomination. Carter said Dean asked him and his wife what they did to get a victory in New Hampshire, among other things.
"He claims, at least to me, to have had in part of his campaign technique about what worked for me in those ancient days in 1976," Carter said. "The only difference is that I didn't have any money and he's today used the Internet in a wonderful fashion."