WASHINGTON - Ten days after Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign ended in Ames, Iowa, one of the former governor's top strategists, Minnesota GOP heavyweight Vin Weber, is joining forces again with Pawlenty rival Mitt Romney.
Weber, the former Minnesota congressman, Washington lobbyist and consigliere to former President George W. Bush, served as policy chairman to Romney's 2008 presidential campaign.
But as top Republican talent picked sides in the 2012 GOP nomination battle, Weber, a managing partner at Clark & Weinstock in D.C., stuck with the hometown contender. He signed on as co-chairman of Pawlenty's presidential campaign.
As the front-runner in the GOP race, Romney was often the target of Pawlenty attacks, including his ill-fated "Obamneycare" jab linking the former Massachusetts governor to a health care overhaul that served as the model for President Obama's individual health insurance mandate.
Now with Pawlenty out, it seems Weber's old loyalties have not faded. "It is an honor to again work with Mitt Romney," Weber said in a statement being released Wednesday by the Romney campaign. "At such a critical time in our nation's history, it is important that we have someone with his background to lead the country."
Romney, for his part, called Weber a "trusted adviser."
Weber's title will be special adviser on policy.