by Taylor Marsh
Dear Hillary: Sole proprietor blogs are small businesses, too. ... But wait a minute, I'm getting ahead of myself...
Okay, so I watched the web chat from Senator Clinton's "exploratory" site.
She gets an A+ on style and setting. But someone needs to tell her to quit shaking her head "no." Not good. Frankly, she should know this by now. It was annoying as hell. It also telegraphs the wrong message, if you know what I mean.
Now for content. She knows what she's talking about, but she's a rambler and loves to hear herself speak. I guess she believes the more she says about an issue the more impressed we'll be. Concise would be nice. On one particular question she said she could go on and on and talk about it for the rest of the web chat. I bet that's true on just about any subject.
But it was her answers on favorite movies that were particularly telling, especially since she had a long time to think about this one. When she was very young, her favorite was "The Wizard of Oz." When she was in law school, her favorite was "Casablanca." But her favorite "in the last year" (she might have said "years," but it was hard to tell) is "Out of Africa." Okay, now I love that movie, but geez, that was released in 1985!
Now, one could say she's playing for classics in her movie selections. NAAAAAW, she wouldn't do that, now would she?
One of the biggest criticisms about Senator Clinton is that she's too calculating and not spontaneous enough. If anything goes to that stereotype it's her movies. It outs her completely.
There was also one interesting moment that I really must point out. It proves that as good as her team is they really don't understand that her rhetoric must meet reality, including out here in the blogosphere. It's about understanding that sole proprietor blogs are small businesses, too. This no small issue either. Here's the deal.
When a question came up about school loans, Senator Clinton talked about turning the calculation for loans from "merit" to "need." Earlier she touted the importance of supporting small business owners. Well, I don't know if you noticed her BlogAd placement, but Clinton's team only chose the heaviest hitters. I think it's great she's using BlogAds, but her choices contradict her rhetoric, which will become policy if elected. Why not include small business blogs? It sure as hell isn't because she doesn't have the money. Single proprietor bloggers may not get the traffic of the gigantic community blogs, but we do a lion share of the work out here as well. I'm one of the few women out here talking national security and military issues as a primary feature, too, which you'd think is important to support. It's not like her team doesn't know I exist. I find it a little annoying that Clinton's team thinks that people like me don't merit advertisement, simply because our numbers don't reach the one-hundred thousand mark. It's a very telling strategic move that I find very disrespectful of small business owners who need the advertisement. Is this the true reality of her small business support? It's not because I'm critical of her that she didn't advertise with me, because other big blogs that merited her advertisement money have lambasted her. This subject is important, because I depend on my readers to help me pay the bills. When politicians who want to be president talk about supporting small business, do a web chat online then ignore our contribution, I find this not only contradictory, but very revealing. Taking me out of the equation for a moment, shouldn't Clinton at least help out a few of the small female only blogs, reaching out to females everywhere? You'd think that would be important to her.
John Edwards didn't play it like Clinton when he announced. He advertised on small business, single proprietor blogs like mine as well. He gets "need" to his core. I appreciated Edwards' ad immensely, as did my readers, no doubt, because the more ads I get the less I have to run fundraisers, which is the goal around here. Anyway, if you think this is a petty issue you're wrong. I'm running in the red. Edwards knows small businesses count and puts his BlogAds on our sites.
Clinton can talk all she wants about moving from "merit" to "need" in school loans and supporting small businesses, but her actions, at least on the web, say otherwise. I believe this matters.
Tomorrow, Senator Clinton has another chat. Someone tell her to stop shaking her head "no." Even with all this inevitability blah-blah-blah it's sending a bad signal.
UPDATE and response to comment: It's obvious, but "indusnoir" misses the point, while simultaenously contradicting his/her own views: "transparent critique of politician's obvious hypocrisy". Besides, the ad would have been worth around $65, which isn't going to make a huge difference in my financial world at all and isn't the only issue. The point is that a politician needs to be called on hypocrisy. You can't say you support small business then not support small businesses on the web, too. It's the principal, not the money, whether you agree or not.
UPDATE and response to comments: You're wrong to think this was "sour grapes," but if that's your take you are certainly entitled to it. If you think I'm the only blogger affected by these types of ad buying decisions you are mistaken. I don't relish making observations like this, but the fact remains that I make a living off of blogging, opinion, political advice, etc. I cannot afford to let these issues slide. It's not "gut level," it's bottom line oriented. I am proud to have a small business, even if you think being "small" is something to which shame is attached.
The fact is that Clinton either supports small businesses or she doesn't. Period. If you don't get that then you're likely not a small business blog owner. This is where I live and work. You can't launch your presidential campaign on the web, advertise on the big blogs, including right-wing blogs (check the link in my post), then ignore small biz bloggers, and then expect anyone to believe your rhetoric about supporting small business.
Again, this isn't a hobby for me.
It gets old trying to educate people on the realities of blogging, but I will continue to do so. I do it for myself, as well as the dozens of other smaller single proprietor bloggers who need the advertising, but have also earned the right to ask for what we deserve.
Slam away, but it doesn't change the facts or the reality of this argument or the importance of raising this issue. But like all the other posts I offer on Huffington Post, I appreciate your viewpoints even if I strongly disagree. I also am grateful to Arianna and the people behind this blog who long ago invited me to be part of their blogger community. Speaking to all of you has been valuable and I cherish the opportunity.
Follow Taylor Marsh on Twitter: www.twitter.com/taylormarsh