Fletcher in the News

Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti Comments on Pres. Campaign Fundraising Overseas

Bhaskar Chakravorti is a Senior Associate Dean at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Looking for Campaign Cash Overseas

Mitt Romney is scheduled to attend the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics Friday night. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is also visiting London to raise some cash.

Romney’s fundraising hosts include lobbyists and banking executives associated with the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal. That’s raised some criticism from British parliamentarians. But foreign fundraising trips have become an integral part of running for the American presidency.

During the 2000 presidential election, George W. Bush and Al Gore raised a combined $230,000 from Americans living abroad. Four years later, contributions from Americans overseas were again modest. Then, in 2007 presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani took a trip to London and tapped into a new pool of deep pockets. Other candidates quickly followed his lead.

Bhaskar Chakravorti, a senior associate dean at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, said fundraising has turned into a war of attrition.

“Every time one side raises a dollar, the other side feels compelled to raise $1.50. And international locations are a natural place to go because you have, I’d say about roughly 4 to 5 million Americans, many of them professionals. Many of them who would like to feel connected to what’s going on in the United States. And you can bring them in.”

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