Former McCain advisers jump on the Jon Huntsman 2012 bandwagon

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

As he prepares to leave his post as President Obama's ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman's potential 2012 campaign is coming into shape, and it includes several veterans of John McCain's presidential bids.

Former McCain strategist John Weaver and longtime ad guru Fred Davis are among those who have joined Huntsman's nascent presidential effort. Peter Spaulding, a former New Hampshire executive council member who chaired McCain's 2000 and 2008 campaigns in the state, is also advising Huntsman.

According to Real Clear Politics' Erin McPike, the three are set to attend an informal 2012 strategy session with other Huntsman advisers next week in New Orleans. Huntsman, who officially leaves his post April 30th, won't attend.

This could add an interesting dynamic to Huntsman's rivalry with Mitt Romney, who has worked to make nice with McCain and his former advisers since their bitter fight over the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. While McCain has said he won't endorse in the primary, there had been signs he was friendly to Romney's 2012 bid--but that was before Huntsman, who endorsed McCain over Romney in '08, hinted at his own White House ambitions.

(Photo of Huntsman: Andy Wong/AP)