Among the informal strategic advisers to potential 2012 presidential aspirant Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. (R-UT): John Weaver, formerly the chief strategist to Sen. John McCain.
This is a sign that Huntsman is thinking seriously about his future. It's also a testament to loyalty: Huntsman was one of the first governors to endorse McCain and refused to withdraw his endorsement during the dark period of the Republican nominee's campaign.
Weaver, who was putting together McCain's pre-campaign campaign, helped recruit Huntsman.
Weaver declined to talk about his work for Huntsman now.
The native Texan, 50, has a long history in politics. He worked for Phil Gramm's presidential campaign in 1996, for Republicans as diverse as Jeff Sessions and Tommy Thompson, and was McCain's political director in 2000.
He grew disillusioned with the Republican Party after the 2000 election, briefly became a Democrat, survived a bout of aggressive cancer, and got to work advising McCain on a 2008 bid.
Following a now well-chronicled dispute over budget and the direction of the campaign in the middle of 2007, Weaver resigned. He reconciled with McCain but was kept out of the campaign; still, he helped where he could, brokering the critical endorsement of Charlie Crist, Florida's governor, ahead of that state's primary.
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