Clark courts former GOP strategist

(January 20, 2004) — (Undated-AP) -- Wesley Clark is trying to lure a former Republican strategist into his campaign as his senior strategist. Clark is in negotiations with John Weaver, who was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain in McCain's insurgent 2000 primary campaign against President Bush. In a statement, Weaver says he, the retired Army general and some of Clark's staff have had discussions but have not come to closure and no formal offers have been made. Weaver was one of a handful of aides who helped McCain upset Bush in the 2000 New Hampshire primary on the strength of broad support among independent voters, who are allowed to cast ballots in Republican and Democratic primaries. Clark hopes to duplicate the effort in this year's primary race, which has tightened in recent weeks. The retired general and Kerry have narrowed former Vermont Governor Howard Dean's lead in recent weeks.