Let's play advance team for a second. If you were Howard Dean, where would you spend the last day of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses? Consider the latest poll numbers there before you answer that question. Dean, for the record, will visit Georgia on Sunday to see former President Jimmy Carter. He won't get Carter's endorsement - Carter wants to be clear about that,but Dean and his people apparently think a friendly appearance with Carter will help them with voters.
One prominent political observer is second-guessing this move, even holding out the possibility that such planning could lead to political ruin. Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen today warns the traveling Dean and the wandering Dick Gephardt (who's also apparently spending too much time in not-Iowa) of the potential dire consequences of abandoning the Iowan plains for other campaign trails. In Yepsen's ominous words: "That will become clear to them on caucus night, when only a few thousand votes are likely to separate the first-, second- and third-place finishers. It's one of those things a loser can kick himself over for the rest of his life."
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.