Clear Opportunity: Opposing Bailout

Good strategy means looking and using obvious opportunities rather than looking for opportunities that are subtle and clever. The amazing thing about real life is that people overlook the most obvious opportunities, almost purposely avoiding moving into openings simply because no one else is moving into them. Of course, an opening is defined by the fact no one is moving into it, but our herd instinct works against good strategy. For example, in the political arena, either presidential candidate could score political points by opposing the bailout, which plays against everyone's instincts as Washington insiders protecting Wall Street insiders. However, both Obama and McCain cannot see the opening. They both know that the bailout is unpopular with voters, but they are both captives of the herd instinct. Obama is less damaged by this because he has stacked less of his position on being a maverick. For him, change simply means changing from a Republican administration to a Democratic. McCain, who promised something really different is seen as the one who has really come up short in this test.