A Corporate Future for Romney?

By Nitya

Jan 7, 2009 1:25pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: An item that just broke on The Washington Post’s Website is going to have 2012 watchers buzzing that former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., may have his eyes on a return to the corporate world, instead of another run for the White House.

“Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been reappointed to Marriott International’s board of directors,” the Post’s Michael S. Rosenwald reports.

“Although Romney has sent signals that he hopes to have a future in politics, his reappointment to Marriott’s board will no doubt have tea-leaf watchers at the company wondering whether he is a candidate to replace Bill Marriott as chief executive. Marriott, who is 76, has said he has no intention of stepping down anytime soon.”

Romney’s family has long been close to the Marriotts. The families own houses close to each other in New Hampshire, and Romney’s first name, Willard, was given to him in honor of J. Willard Marriott, the father of the current Marriott chief of executive.

Romney advisers say this has nothing to do with his potential resumption of a political career. Another presidential run in 2012 remains very possible, depending on what the next few years bring; he’s slated to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which tends to attract presidential hopefuls, in Washington next month.

Still, what’s interesting here is that Romney left the Marriott board to pursue his political career, starting with his run for governor in 2002.

In a statement, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom says, "Governor Romney didn’t feel it was appropriate for him as an elected officeholder to serve on a corporate board. Now that he holds no public office, he has accepted this invitation to rejoin Marriott’s board. . . . Governor Romney will continue to be active politically. He’s not closing the door to anything. He’ll continue to contribute to the public discussion over how to address some of the serious economic and foreign policy challenges facing our nation."

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