Corporate elite networks and US foreign policy: The revolving door and the open door under Obama

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Abstract

In the last presidential race the wealth of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, his previous career as private equity investor, and as his close connections to Wall Street and the world of big fi nance, drew much media attention. Of course, his image as an out-of-touch plutocrat was only strengthened by his own gaffes, most notoriously his remark at a private fundraising dinner that he did not care about the 47 per cent of the US population not paying federal income tax, and which (he alleged) would not vote for him anyway. The media fuss and political commotion that this created, in combination with Obama’s left-of-centre campaign rhetoric, reinforced the impression that an Obama win would be a victory of the common man against the corporate elite: of main street over Wall Street. The press, moreover, reported that while Wall Street and ultra-wealthy individuals were by far the biggest contributors to the Romney campaign, Obama’s campaign relied more on small donors (Confessore and McGinty 2012 ). More careful research, however, shows that in the last presidential elections in which more than a staggering US$ 2 billion was spent, ‘big money’ – large corporations as well as the super-rich often linked to these corporations – funded the largest part of both campaigns (Ferguson et al . 2012 ).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObama and the World: New Directions in US Foreign Policy
EditorsI. Parmar, L.B Miller, M. Ledwidge
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter12
Pages149-162
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781134753154
ISBN (Print)9780415715232
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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