McGovern, 85, endorsed Clinton Saturday at a barbecue in Iowa City, where more than a thousand people turned out to hear five Democratic presidential hopefuls speak of their vision for the nation, The Des Moines Register reported Sunday.
The hopefuls on hand included Clinton, Christopher Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson while actor Forest Whitaker spoke on behalf of Barack Obama, and Beau Biden spoke for his father, Joe Biden.
Clinton spoke last after an introduction by McGovern, who noted Clinton and her then future husband, Bill Clinton, campaigned for McGovern in Texas in 1972, the Los Angeles Times political blog reported.
McGovern Saturday praised the entire current field of Democratic hopefuls and, in a nod to Obama, said he wanted to live long enough to see an African-American president, the Times reported.
Then McGovern added, "We have an old rule of courtesy in the United States: ladies first."