With the presidential election just days away and the final debate only a memory, we have seen numerous buzzwords and slogans thrown out there. Obama is begging for “change” at every campaign stop he makes and as the television show Saturday Night Live suggested, Palin and McCain’s references to the term “maverick” could be turned into a pretty successful drinking game. And who could forget from his frequent references to Scranton, Biden’s hometown?
We have also seen the emergence recently of a new player on the political field, Joe the Plumber. Replacing the Republican Party, and specifically Sarah Palin’s reliance on “Joe Six-pack,” Joe the Plumber is the new everyman the candidates are fighting over, or at least fighting for his vote.
But beyond all of this, there is yet another character that many may not even notice as he is being brought up in these same debates. ExxonMobil is taking a beating from both the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. It has been mentioned at least six times during the debates as the enemy both parties can rally around. The company is one of the only things that they seem to agree on during these forums on disagreement.
While I have seen a commercial or two for the company and read a press release about their work in a hurricane stricken area of Texas, this is a time for ExxonMobil to really ramp up its PR efforts. With everyone against them, they must have some message positively portraying themselves to the American people. A few years ago, ExxonMobil was the only oil company to have its CEO appear for interviews when the three major stations were calling all oil companies to account, but this same company is now letting these candidates hurt their image without putting up a fight.
So where is the ExxonMobil of the past, responding to issues when the call was placed? But then again, with all the criticism they face now and have faced in the past, maybe two candidates in a 90 minute debate who occasionally express their dislike for ExxonMobil isn’t all that bad. And maybe the American people care more now about candidate’s buzzwords than when they call a company to task. Could it be possible that those paying attention to this race don’t even realize a company is being bashed when all we hear about on the news are mavericks asking Joes for change?