To begin with, let me state frankly that, as regards the question posed in the title of this article, I have no idea. In earlier editions of the GOP Presidential Follies we’ve determined that both Sarah Palin and Rick Perry, should they make it to Election Day as the Republican nominee, have excellent astrological transits which put them in the catbird seat.
But Palin opted not to run at all, and Perry’s campaign blew up in his face within weeks of his entry into the race, and seems unlikely to resuscitate. So the question here on the brink of primary voting is, firstly, can Romney win the nomination, and if so, how does he fare astrologically against Barack Obama?
Romney’s tortoise-opposed-hare act has kept him consistently in the mid-20th percentile in national polls all year, while various competing hares rocket to the top of the GOP charts, only to fade. At issue is whether this number is Romney’s ceiling, or his floor, as the “anybody but Mitt” constituency flexes its political muscle.
Consider the 2011 pre-primary season—we began with Palin out-polling all comers in late winter, only to be supplanted by Donald Trump in the early spring, as Palin’s determination to enter the race became less and less obvious. Once Trump, too, bowed out in May, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s star (see Michele Bachmann’s astrological profile here) was on the rise, only to be eclipsed in mid-August, at the moment of her triumphal Iowa Straw Poll win, by the entry of conservative darling Rick Perry into the race.
Late August and September were Perry country, but a series of debate gaffes and a growing sense that there was no “there” there led to a steep decline, and GOP voters boarded the Cain Train for the next dizzying ride on the Republican electoral roller coaster. Cain’s sexual past caught up with him in late October, and a frustrated conservative base turned its weary eyes to Newt Gingrich, currently filling the “not Mitt” role with all the gusto he can muster, which is considerable.
I previously profiled Mitt Romney in the 2007 run-up to the 2008 presidential race [see that article in the July 2007 Daykeeper Journal for this full natal bio and profile], but without a birth time, or the use of minor planets and asteroids. This adds a fuller depth to the portrait, and upcoming transits for 2012 indicate pressure points and critical periods for the man who would be president.
Born 9:51 AM EST March 12, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan (from memory, Rodden rating A), Romney’s 1 Gemini Ascendant was just hit in opposition by the Solar Eclipse of 25 November 2011 at 2 Sagittarius, which fell tightly on the 1 Sagittarius Descendant. Prior to this impact, Romney had apparently easily weathered challenges from all comers. Not to any positive effect for the campaign, it’s true, which seems to be in stasis, but at least without obvious detriment to what conventional wisdom assumes is Romney’s inevitability.
But Newt Gingrich’s ascendancy around the time of the eclipse appears to be a more serious disruption to Romney’s glide path to the coronation in Tampa in August, and the symbolism of an eclipse on the Descendant supports this—Romney’s basic method of dealing with others, his ability to connect and relate, is being highlighted and challenged. The former Massachusetts governor, no media darling, had not appeared in interviews on a network news show since March of 2010, almost two years, rightly calculating that he would receive but cold comfort from traditional media outlets.
Then in the wake of Gingrich’s emergence as a force to be dealt with (see Newt Gingrich’s astrological profile here), a more open approach was deemed appropriate, so Romney accepted an offer to appear with Fox News anchor Bret Baier on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday, November 30, just days after the eclipse. The choice was a natural one, especially given that the eclipse also highlighted Romney’s natal South Node at 6 Sagittarius, the point at which we find comfort in the familiar and retreat into old habits and ways of responding, so a few softballs lobbed from the notoriously right-wing Fox News seemed like a slam-dunk.
The result was an interview which a flustered and frustrated Romney described as “overly aggressive” and “uncalled for,” not the kid-glove love-fest he’d expected from the conservative network, which has shilled for so many GOP contenders in the past. Romney’s exasperated, almost shrill responses to perfectly proper questions about his healthcare plan in Massachusetts and his reputation for seeing, and endorsing, all sides of an issue, made it obvious that Romney has not benefitted from his long, self-imposed media hiatus.
Conservative fundraisers and pundits expressed concern that Romney might not have the nerves of steel required to weather a full-out presidential campaign. What they probably didn’t account for was that the Solar Eclipse which prompted Romney’s return to network news was also in square to his natal Mars at 6 Pisces, inclining him to be combative, tetchy, aggressive and overly sensitive to perceived attacks, as evinced by the governor’s responses to Baier’s questions.
The same Solar Eclipse that so disastrously pushed Romney out of his complacency, reinforced Gingrich’s propensity to bombast and self-aggrandizement. At 2 Sagittarius, the eclipse exactly opposed Newt’s natal Mercury at 2 Gemini and fell atop natal asteroid Hybris at 3 Sagittarius, representing hubristic, excessively prideful or overly self-confident statements or actions.
Gingrich wasted no time condensing his concurrent surge in the polls into a typically conceited sound byte for ABC News on December 1—
“I’m going to be the nominee. It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high that I’m going to be the nominee.”
Gingrich’s Mercury/Hybris opposition, so prominent throughout his career, falls directly across Romney’s Ascendant/Descendant horizontal axis, a powerful challenge to the putative frontrunner’s ambitions.
Adding force to Gingrich’s importance in Romney’s life, and especially as impacting his public persona or image, is the appearance of two asteroids with Gingrich-related names on Romney’s 1 Gemini Ascendant. Asteroids Gingerich at 25 Taurus and Newtonia at 5 Gemini straddle Romney’s Ascendant, and moreover, each conjoins a Maser within a degree (26 Taurus and 6 Gemini), indicating volatile, disruptive energy, difficult to control or manage, conveying controversy and potentially devastating or disastrous results.
Newtonia’s close conjunction with Romney’s natal North Node at 6 Gemini could also indicate that in the long run, this conflict with Newt is beneficial to Romney, moving him out of his comfort zone and complacent attitude, forcing him to stretch his boundaries and take the risks necessary to successfully promote his candidacy.
Mitt Romney’s birth time gives us a 27 Scorpio Moon, an exact match for his natal Jupiter, and close beside it lies asteroid America at 22 Scorpio. This combination would ordinarily suggest a very popular candidate, one whose politicking meets with general acclaim and approbation, a “lucky” politician (both Jupiter) who matches the public mood (both Moon), not just for a local constituency, but the nation at large (America).
Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, this Moon/Jupiter/America stellium is intercepted by Sign, preventing its full implementation. In many ways, it is almost as if the contact doesn’t exist at all. Opposing this promising combination is asteroid Gingerich at 25 Taurus, the former House Speaker just waiting to stick the knife in.
Romney has been running for high office, nationally and at the state level, for 17 years, as Gingrich so devastatingly reminded everyone at the December 10 GOP debate. In all that time, Romney has won just one race, the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial contest, but has made running for public office his full-time job.
This ambivalent career performance in political circles may be reflected in an unusual clump of celestials clustering about the 6 Aquarius Midheaven. Prominent is Venus at 8 Aquarius, which under normal circumstances should be a very beneficial thing to have in the Tenth House of career. And indeed, in its fiscal application, Venus’ actions here are quite easy to see, as Romney has amassed a personal fortune in the $200-250 million range, largely through his career choices in the private sector, working with finance and venture capital firms (both Venus). His wealth is among the more visible and prominent (MC) aspects of his public image.
But as we have seen, normalcy is not a Romney hallmark. For along with Venus are asteroids Icarus and Tantalus, both at 6 Aquarius, exactly on the MC. Icarus can indicate a rash, reckless approach to whatever it touches, in this case, career matters; but it can also indicate the opposite—being too risk-averse, and particularly, failing to take good advice to heart.
Such appears to be the case in Romney’s 2012 presidential bid so far. In his decision not to risk exposure on national news shows for an extended period, he has largely allowed others to define him before he has defined himself. Tantalus, however, may be the true culprit in Romney’s elusive political career, representing as it does those things which we strive for, but which remain tantalizingly always just out of reach, unattainable however much we try.
Opposing these from the IC side of the Vertical Axis are Pluto and Saturn, along with asteroids Massachusetts and Washingtonia, which together give a rather full picture of Romney’s political aspirations and electoral history. With Saturn and Pluto combined from 2 and 11 Leo on the 6 Leo Nadir, it is clear that foundationally (Nadir), Romney seeks authority (Saturn) and power (Pluto), as a basis from which to establish himself and build his life’s structure (Nadir), the areas in which he feels most fulfilled and internally secure when successful.
Asteroid Massachusetts at 12 Leo, on the Pluto side of this equation, may indicate both the pinnacle of Romney’s personal power (Pluto), as the Bay State’s governor, and the potentially devastating ramifications of that job, wherein Romney had to lean dramatically leftward to satisfy a liberal constituency.
That moderate-to-liberal record is now the cause of the suspicion and mistrust directed at him from the conservative base he attempts to woo for the GOP presidential nomination. In particular, his statewide healthcare plan, mandating individual coverage, was used as a model for Obamacare, which is anathema to conservatives. Romney’s attempts to run away from the signature piece of legislation from his brief gubernatorial tenure have not been successful.
On the Saturn side we see asteroid Washingtonia at 3 Leo, with Saturn/Washingtonia centered on the Black Hole at 2 Leo. Clearly, there is a drive toward wielding authority in an executive capacity (both Saturn) in the nation’s capital (Washingtonia), but the disequilibrium wrought by Black Hole interaction suggests that this goal may remain unmanifest, trapped within the confines of some parallel universe which never penetrates our own.
Several other minor conjunctions lend flavor to Romney’s profile. In particular, a close conjunction of TNO Sedna with asteroid Kassandra at 22 and 23 Aries seems to have exerted a disproportionate pull on Romney’s destiny. Kassandra speaks to a lack of believability or authenticity on the part of the native—others simply turn a deaf ear, and one’s credibility is always in doubt. Paired with Sedna, noted for promoting isolation, the effect is deadly for a politician, and this combination lies inconjunct to Romney’s intercepted Moon/Jupiter/America grouping. Simply put, the American people (Moon) just don’t believe him, or trust that what he is telling them is the truth (both Kassandra), leaving Romney marginalized (Sedna) as a political force to be reckoned with (Jupiter).
Making matters worse currently is a transit of Sedna/Kassandra by TNO Eris, evoking general discontent and ill ease at the thought of a Romney candidacy. Natally Eris is exactly conjoined asteroid Agita at 6 Aries, and is exactly sextile that MC/Icarus/Tantalus grouping discussed earlier. Romney is simply not a force to bring people together, tending more to division and disruption (both Eris), and leaving behind him a queasy, nervous-sick feeling in the pit of the stomach (Agita), all of this linked directly to career issues (MC). This natal Eris/Agita is also reinforced this year, with transit Uranus crisscrossing the conjunction in the summer and transit Mercury forming its retrograde station exactly atop it in March.
Romney has a number of energizing or debilitating hits to his birth chart in the upcoming year, some timed for maximum effect on the political calendar. Rounding out 2011, a Lunar Eclipse of December 10 at 18 Gemini struck closely upon his natal Uranus at 17 Gemini, also squaring the 21 Pisces Sun and bringing out a natal T-Square involving asteroid Nemesis at 15 Virgo. The natal Sun/Nemesis opposition is very telling—Romney is his own worst enemy, and like Coleridge’s ancient mariner, there is a “frightful fiend” that treads close behind him, which is Romney himself, his past actions and statements.
Nemesis is that inescapable quality of justice which exerts its impartial vengeance, making it impossible to escape the retribution earned by our own prior histories. The eclipse on natal Uranus propelled Romney into an increased television (ruled by Uranus) presence, eroding his former aloof attitude (also Uranus), and also activated his latent combative instincts, as the candidate came out swinging against challenger Gingrich (ironically describing the former Speaker, with a net worth less than 10% of Romney’s, as “too wealthy” to identify with the middle class).
So much for the closing acts of 2011. Transit Neptune is particularly active in 2012, squaring the Ascendant/Descendant axis twice—in March, as the protracted primary season heats up, and again in August and September, during the Republican National Convention and the period of the traditional post-Labor Day campaign season kick-off.
Both these periods could spell a huge disappointment (Neptune) for Romney, as he sees his lead erode, or another competitor take the nomination, and additionally, the square to the Ascendant indicates a period where his public image is in flux, and subject to misrepresentation, confusion, or downright deception. Transit Pluto’s direct station of September 18 at 6 Capricorn supports this, falling in exact square to Romney’s natal Eris/Agita conjunction, emphasizing that sense that he is a divisive, irritating or agitating individual, not one likely to coalesce support.
Transit Saturn, which might have supplied some structure and grounding for the campaign, and dispenses reward and recognition for one’s efforts in the world, is remarkably silent in Romney’s chart this year, making no major aspects from its late Libra locale. The only hit from Saturn is the June 2012 direct station at 22 Libra, which with typical Romney celestial bad luck opposes that unfortunate Sedna/Kassandra opposition, reinforcing his negatives and perhaps isolating him further.
Jupiter, too, fails to offer much support, falling just shy of conjunction to natal Uranus at its October 2012 retrograde station of 16 Gemini, and just out of orb of square to the 21 Pisces Sun. However, it will roll over Romney’s 1 Gemini Ascendant in June, though perhaps too late to do more than confirm the result of the primary, should Romney find himself the winner, and too early to impact the fall general election campaign.
The personal planets all form significant aspects to Romney’s nativity in 2012, particularly in their retrograde movements, with all three planets having retrogrades next year. Mars’ retrograde station at 23 Virgo on 24 January 2012 inaugurates a period of this energizer and fighter opposing Romney’s natal Sun, Mercury and Mars, before turning direct once more on April 14 from 3 Virgo, and then opposing all these points again after resuming direct motion.
This could signal a period of major retrenchment for the campaign as it coincides with the most active period of the primary season, and has the potential to energize Romney personally (Sun), his message (Mercury) and his will to win (Mars). Unfortunately, the retrograde station itself is also exactly opposed Romney’s natal TNO Chaos at 23 Pisces, which could imply a late January breakdown or turmoil in the campaign, perhaps a major shake-up in the organization’s hierarchy.
Venus, too, aspects Chaos directly, in square from her 23 Gemini retrograde station on May 15, 2012. If the race is a truly protracted one (and it may well be, as this primary season is the first in which GOP delegates will be awarded proportionately state by state, rather than the old winner-take-all model), this could signal the point at which Romney’s funds (Venus) become problematic, and he is forced to step in with self-financing to complete the race.
Romney’s values, another Venusian arena, are also likely to become an issue again at this time, and while Venus’ retrograde period encompasses squares to his natal Sun and Mercury, her direct station at 7 Gemini does not come quite to conjunction with the 6 Gemini North Node, nor square to natal Mars at 6 Pisces, implying that a boost of Venusian good will for Romney’s future prospects (North Node) and the competition he is embroiled in (Mars), might be just out of reach.
But it is Mercury that forms the most significant contacts in its retrograde periods, all three in 2012 falling in major aspect to key points of Romney’s birth chart. We have already noted that the Mercury retrograde station of March 12 at 6 Aries falls exactly atop the natal Eris/Agita pairing, emphasizing those negatives. Its backhand station direct of 4 April at 23 Pisces is exactly atop natal Chaos. Not a comfortable period for Romney, although in addition to its implications of disruption and disorder, Chaos can also represent the emergence of creative potential from the void.
Mercury’s summer retrograde is similarly troublesome, with the retrograde station on July 15 falling at 12 Leo, just one degree past natal Pluto, and its direct station of August 8 occurring at 1 Leo, one degree shy of natal Saturn. At a more critical phase of the campaign year, this could signal positive changes in the force or power (Pluto) of Romney’s message (Mercury), making him appear more presidential or authoritative (Saturn) in his pronouncements (Mercury), but in the political dog days of midsummer, it likely represents an internal dialogue within the campaign, focused on re-tooling its message from a focus on the conservative base to the broader audience of a general election, should Romney receive his party’s nomination.
Finally, Mercury stations retrograde at 4 Sagittarius, exactly atop a Black Hole and within orb of conjunction to Romney’s 1 Sagittarius Descendant and square to his natal Mars at 6 Pisces, on Election Day itself, 6 November 2012. In the past, Mercury stations on Election Day have been problematic at best, to say the least (witness the 2000 election debacle, when Mercury turned retro on the Black Hole at 29 Libra, and the contest wasn’t decided until December, by Supreme Court fiat).
There is no way to know which candidate, if either, this 2012 station will favor. But Mercury in contact to both Romney’s Descendant (his relationships with others) and Mars (his fighting spirit) could propel additional support his way, which in a close election might signal victory. The unpredictable, unstable quality of Black Hole energies, however, precludes any definite determination on this in advance.
Eclipses will be impacting Romney strongly this year also. In addition to the recent hits from the Solar and Lunar Eclipses in late 2011, discussed above, the Solar Eclipse of 20 May 2012 at 0 Gemini will fall closely on his Ascendant, bringing a focus to his public image and persona. Whether that helps or hurts is unclear in Romney’s case, but that late in primary season, it’s unlikely to make much difference to the outcome for the nomination, though its effects will reverberate into the general election period as well, prompting some to take a second look.
Following is a Lunar Eclipse at 14 Sagittarius on June 4, which will tightly square Romney’s natal Mercury at 13 Pisces. This may help to promote his message, but it also brings out a rather unfortunate square between Mercury and natal Uranus at 17 Gemini, the source for much of the cold, aloof manner which strikes voters as unapproachable and elitist.
Romney is surprisingly gaffe-free for once with this natal square, but at times glimmers of what is better left unsaid emerge, as in an October debate performance when Romney attempted to deflect criticism that he had once employed a groundskeeping company that hired illegal workers. Romney related his response to the firm’s manager when he fired them, asserting not that he did so because it was inherently wrong for them to hire illegals, but because he himself was “running for president, for Pete’s sake!” Clearly, the morality of the situation was less an issue for Romney than how it impacted his ambitions, the implication being that, all things being equal, he’d be happy to let the legalities slide. The eclipse emphasizing this Mercury/Uranus square may bring further such statements, granting insights into the inner workings of Romney’s mind which may not be helpful for his prospects.
Should Romney gain his party’s nomination, there are two other eclipses to be considered. On November 13, just a week after the election, a Solar Eclipse at 21 Scorpio falls in exact trine to Romney’s natal Sun at 21 Pisces, potentially lending strong support. The eclipse is just wide of conjunction to the natal Moon/Jupiter conjunction at 27 Scorpio, and might have helped to highlight the powerful political potential of that configuration, normally dampened by its interception. But at 6 degrees off, the effect is not likely to be strong, though in a contest as close as this one will be, every little bit helps. The subsequent Lunar Eclipse of 28 November 2012, however, is an exact match for Romney’s natal North Node at 6 Gemini, as well as in exact square to natal Mars at 6 Pisces. That could well spell a winner, success in a competitive endeavor (Mars) that propels Romney to his highest aspiration (North Node).
How would Romney fare astrologically against Barack Obama in a general election? That’s a question we’ll leave until we’re sure who exactly Obama’s opponent will be, but preliminary auguries are none too favorable for the current president. The Solar Eclipse a week after the election which exactly trines Romney’s Sun, also squares Obama’s natal Uranus at 25 Leo, a possible indicator of disruption and turmoil. With a stagnant economy, high unemployment, political gridlock and low favorability ratings, much will depend on the choice the GOP offers America in Obama’s place. And if they pick Romney, the winds of change may once again blow.