updated 1/19/2004 7:55:56 PM ET 2004-01-20T00:55:56

Wesley Clark, seeking a bipartisan flavor for his presidential campaign, is in negotiations with a former adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain to be his senior strategist.

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The Clark campaign and John Weaver, who helped run McCain’s insurgent 2000 primary campaign against President Bush in 2000, said Monday it is not a done deal.

“John Weaver has not been hired by the Clark campaign although he has been in discussion with the campaign about the possibility of coming on to give us some strategic advice,” said Matt Bennett, spokesman for the Clark campaign.

Weaver, in a statement, said 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.

“General Clark is a terrific person who is committed to national service and would be a formidable candidate in the general election,” Weaver said. “So too would Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, John Edwards or Joe Lieberman.”

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 the Jan. 27 primary, which has tightened in recent weeks. The retired general and Kerry have narrowed former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s lead in recent weeks.

Weaver’s name had been circulating as a potential addition to Clark’s staff.

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