Two Degrees of Howard Johnson

By Amber Porter

Jul 6, 2012 5:54pm

This morning in a campaign stop in Poland, Ohio, President Obama reminisced to a crowd about his childhood vacations, saying, “we stayed at Howard Johnson’s, and you know, you — I was 11, and so if there was any kind of swimming pool — (laughter) — it didn’t matter how big it was — (laughter) — right?”

What the president may not have realized is that Mitt Romney has a bit of a connection to the famously orange-roofed hotel chain – his family friends the Mariotts used to own it.

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In 1985, the hotel chain was sold by its British owner, Imperial Group for a reported $314 million. Marriott immediately sold off the lodges and kept the restaurants, but by 1986 got rid of those, too.

The Marriott family can take credit for introducing Mitt Romney to his vacation home town. Mitt made his first trip to the idyllic town of Wolfeboro, N.H with his father George to visit the Marriotts there. Romney has spent the past week vacationing with his family on Lake Winnipesaukee, as well as attending the same small Mormon church in town that the Marriotts attend.

It is a small world, after all.

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