Mitt Romney was appointed to the board of Marriott International on Monday. His term starts immediately. The move serves as the third such appointment since 1993. Despite Romney's more recent relationship with Marriott, family ties to the hotel giant go back a generation. The two famous families have plenty in common which makes the board appointment an easy choice for the hospitality chain.
Why is Romney's recent board appointment significant?
This marks first job announcement for the former candidate since his election night loss to President Barack Obama, according to the Associated Press. After his stint as the head of Bain Capital, one of Romney's most high-profile jobs was on the board of Marriott. Since 1993, the only times the Republican wasn't on the board was when he ran for governor of Massachusetts and then during his two presidential races.
What will the former candidate be paid at his new job?
The Atlantic Wire has a summary of Romney's business relationship with the popular hotel chain. His salary for board work is $60,000 per year plus $1,250 per meeting. That figure doesn't take into account the hundreds of millions of dollars the businessman owns in stock options from his time at Bain. On the campaign trail, Romney and his staff brought more than $1.5 million in business to Marriott hotels as the Republican made stops all over the country.
What has the hotel chain done for Romney during his presidential campaign?
Reuters reveals J.W Marriott and Richard Marriott, brothers who own the company, each donated $1 million to Romney's run for president in 2012. The donations were made through super PACs as individual campaign donations are limited through traditional means.
How are the two families connected?
The relationship between the hotel giant and the powerful political family go back one generation. George Romney, late father of the former governor and a CEO himself, was a good friend to J. Willard Marriott, the father of the current hotel chain owners. The families are so close, the younger Romney's first name is Willard. NPR states the current generation of Marriott ownership has heaped praise on the candidate several times in the media
Why is the Mormon faith a big deal between the families?
An ABC News piece in early September profiled comments made during a church service in Wolfboro, N.H., during which J.W. Marriott thanked his fellow Mormon for bringing "positive attention to the church." Reporters in the church said the Mitt and Ann Romney showed little reaction to the comments.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.