Washington (CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour braved some frigid weather Wednesday to appear at South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's historic inauguration, but he also managed to take care of some political business on the side as he prepares for a possible presidential bid in 2012.
After Haley's swearing-in, Barbour convened something of a meet-and-greet with a handful of Republican legislators at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia, multiple GOP sources informed CNN.
Among those planning to attend the closed-door meeting: David Wilkins, a former U.S. Ambassador and South Carolina House Speaker who remains a power broker in state GOP politics. Wilkins was also the chief of Haley's transition team.
Barbour has been putting out feelers in the pivotal early primary state but hasn't appeared there since March of last year, when he keynoted an event for the Spartanburg County Republican Party.
A Haley adviser said Barbour was one of several potential 2012 contenders invited to witness Haley be sworn in as South Carolina's first female governor.
The Haley transition team extended invitations to early backers of the campaign - specifically former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - along with members of the Republican Governors Association's Executive Committee: Barbour, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.
UPDATE: Former South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster also attended the Barbour meeting. The two men have a long relationship: McMaster, who ran for governor last year but lost to Haley in the June GOP primary, served as chairman of the South Carolina GOP when Barbour chaired the Republican National Committee.