Romney campaign damaged by leaked video

(Posted 18 September 2012)  The presidential campaign of Republican hopeful Mitt Romney suffered another setback yesterday. A leaked video made in secret during a GOP fund raiser depicted Romney stating that Obama supporters constituted 47% of the electorate who were dependent on government handouts and saw themselves as "victims" and incapable of self-reliance.  The video was embarrassing to Romney as it solidifies the perception that he is part of a wealthy elite who is out of touch with the daily reality of the average American.  While the Obama campaign took full advantage of the video, even some conservatives admitted it painted Romney in a bad light.  This comes on the heels of Romney's other recent misstep regarding the deaths of American diplomats in Libya where he was also called to account by both the left and the right for criticizing Obama too soon after the attack on the Benghazi consulate. 

These campaign trials and tribulations are a good opportunity to reflect on the respective campaign horoscopes.  Just as individuals, corporations and countries have horoscopes, so, too, do political campaigns.  The moment that a candidate declares he or she is running for office, a horoscope can be cast.  The resulting chart itself can reveal something about the nature of the forthcoming endeavour as well as providing some insight about the likelihood of success.  In addition, we can often see the ups and downs of the campaign.

Mitt Romney declared his candidacy for president on 2 June 2011 at 1.16 pm at Stratham, New Hampshire.  The resulting chart has sidereal Leo rising with Mercury, Sun, Moon and Ketu in the 10th house in Taurus.  Actually, the candidacy was declared just one day after a solar eclipse.  This is neither good nor bad in itself, but perhaps underlines the notion of the importance of the task at hand.  Normally, the Sun-Moon conjunction in the 10th house is quite good for enjoying high status and profile.  One can easily make the argument that Romney's presidential campaign would do that, win or lose. Ketu is the odd man out here, as it introduces a large measure of uncertainty and unpredictability.  Ketu (i.e. the South Lunar Node) is usually a problematic influence when it is placed in the 10th house where achievements are blocked or disappointed, although there are occasions when it can still resonate with success, although only through unusual means.  The other problem here is that the Moon-Ketu conjunction sits very close to the equal 10th house cusp (27 Taurus).  Since the Moon rules the 12th house of loss  (Cancer), this is a negative influence on the 10th house.  The weakness in this chart is also evident from the fact that the 10th house ruler, Venus, is placed back in the 9th house with Mars.  The 11th house (gains) is also fairly unremarkable as its ruler, Mercury is in the 10th house, but sits a ways off all the action with the Sun and Moon.  Saturn is in a close trine aspect with the Sun here, so I take that as another source of weakness in this chart.

But interpreting the natal chart is admittedly a somewhat speculative venture.  There are always exceptions to "rules" and there are large gray areas of interpretation.  I find transit hits to natal charts to be more illustrative and insightful.  We see that Romney's video problem is basically the result of the current position of Mars.  Transiting Mars (22 Libra) is exactly opposite the natal Mars (22 Aries) of this candidacy horoscope.  As astrological transits go, this is about as bankable as they come.  Mars-to-Mars oppositions are only very rarely positive, and usually negative and describe situations and events that are marked by conflict, frustration and stress.  Romney's campaign has been sputtering ever since the late August convention.  Interestingly, we can see that transiting Ketu (4 Taurus) has been conjunct Mercury (5 Taurus) for most of that post-convention period up until the present.  Ketu often has a disruptive effect on Mercury's need to communicate, so we have seen a series of miscues and false starts from Romney such as his inappropriately partisan remarks from the Libya consulate attack.

Not surprisingly, we can also see how the Obama campaign chart may be enjoying its recent bounce.  Obama declared his candidacy for re-election on 3 April 2011 at 9.33 in Chicago, IL (big hat tip to Patrick Watson of the political astrology blog for this time).  Just looking at the current transits, we can see that Obama has no Mars problem at all.  In fact, his campaign chart appears to be in the thrall of a very nice Venus transit through his 10th house of status.  And look how Venus is trine his conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter!  It's just a couple degrees early, but it is one of those fairly reliable positive transits that usually correspond with success and happiness.  This success is borne out by the latest polls, which show Obama now pulling into a 5 point lead, his widest in some months.  We will have to see what the fallout will be from this latest Romney gaffe when new polls are released next week.

My sense is Obama will continue to benefit in the short run at least until Venus conjoins the Midheaven (10th house cusp) which occurs next Monday, the 24th.  At the same time, it's worth noting that Obama will be hit with two simultaneously bad transits -- the Mercury to Saturn conjunction and then the Sun opposite his Mars-Uranus conjunction.  This looks like trouble for sure, possibly involving some kind of violent or military action (Mars/Uranus), perhaps in a faraway place (12th house).  These two bad transits will be exact on Sunday the 23rd so there could be more than one event here, perhaps one favourable and one unfavourable.  At the same time, Romney will again come under the influence of Mars as it opposes his natal Venus.  Actually, there will be a t-square formed with transiting Venus and Mars activating his natal Venus.  It doesn't look very good, so I would not expect this to be a zero-sum sort of political event whereby Obama loses and Romney gains.  It may be more complicated than that.

In the aftermath of the video scandal, Romney is not trying to back away from his comments as he is going on the offensive by arguing that Obama is overly focused on wealth redistribution rather than wealth creation.  Based on the planets in this chart, I don't think he will be very successful in the coming days.  Just as Venus will be shining on Obama's campaign for much of this week, Venus will come under the aspect of Romney's natal Mars later this week.  This suggests that his efforts to clarify or go on the offensive will not be able to quickly reverse the damage caused by the public release of this video tape.