Saturday, October 14, 2006

Midterm 06: Grudge Match In The Garden State

Midterm 06: Grudge Match In The Garden State

10:38 AM 10/14/2006 Sat

Having assessed a few of the key races in Pennsylvania we now turn to the Garden State, where what can only be called a grudge match is taking place - a battle for US Senate supremacy between Party faithful and Corzine appointed Bob Menendez, and scion of the much beloved former Governor, Tom Kean Jr.

As is well known, the Democrats are poised to take back one or both Houses of Congress with key wins in next month's elections; they need only 6 seats to win back the Senate, 15 seats to take back the House of Representatives. Most pundits say that if it happens at all, the House is where the Dems will make the most traction. For them to take the Senate however, they'll NEED New Jersey - if Kean wins, it would mean that the Dems would have to win 6 Senate races in a row around the country, a tough feat for any political party in a midterm election, let alone the lowly Dems.

However, New Jersey is a State that has always been friendly to the Democratic Party - rarely if ever, do Republicans make any major headway in the Garden State. Those who do are referred to as "RHINOS" - Republicans In Name Only - due to the fact that they so very often, side with Democrats on keys issues such as Abortion, Gay Marriage and Taxes. The elder Kean, as well as Christie Todd-Whitman, are Republicans, but pale in comparison to the more strident voices in the Party, such as Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum, or Utah's Orrin Hatch. With the state firmly in Democratic hands, with Corzine at the helm, and with Menendez getting help in recent days from Democratic "big guns" like Sen. Barack Obama, it seems all but a lock for the Dems to hang on to New Jersey come Nov 7.

But this is no regular race. Tom Kean Jr. has proven himself a formidable candidate for the US Senate, opening a blistering barrage of attack ads aimed at firmly questioning Menendez's eithics (keep in mind, that Menendez could be indicted for his role in a shady nonprofit/land property deal; a current investigation is underway) and partyline support for the Democrats (Menendez a classic tax and spend Liberal - note how taxes in NJ have risen under Corzine; NJ has the HIGHEST property taxes in the country; additionally, Menendez among only a handful of US Senators to vote against the Iraq War). Not only this, but New Jersey has been awash in scandal and corruption for at least the past year, beginning in earnest with the resignation in disgrace of former Democratic Governor Jim "I Am A Gay American" McGreevey, and at present, centering on South Jersey State Senator Wayne Bryant's involvement with the UMDNJ (University of Medicine & Denistry of New Jersey), to say nothing of rampant corruption obtaining in Camden & Newark, etc. Much if not all of this has occured on the Democrats' watch (talk about a "Culture of Corruption" - heh!). On top of this, Kean Jr., a State legislator, is seen by his peers, Democrat and Republican alike, as a competent, likable politician that is willing to work with both sides of the aisle to get things done. Indeed, his "attack" stance in the race is something that was seen as a surprise by his peers, for the younger Kean was always seen as a somewhat laidback person.

And it appears that the attack ads and strategy has worked to great effect - though Menendez has taken a slight lead (about 4 points, well within the margin of error), Kean was in the lead only a week or so ago, and has kept the race close all year; most pundits and writers say that it's too close to call at this point. Can astrology help us determine who is to ultimately prevail on Nov 7?

Bob Menendez Jan 17 1954 New York NY; Tom Kean Jr Sep 5 1968; Source: Wikipedia

Menendez has a three planet cluster in Capricorn, of the Sun, Mercury and Venus, with the dispositor Saturn in Scorpio, a combination you want to see in the chart of a politician; this tallies well with his "up from immigrants" story, being the son of Cuban immigrants fleeling the fledging Castro regime, and being the first in his family to attend college. Additionally, he has Mars in Scorpio, always an indice of considerable drive, motivation and initiative albiet shrewd, even secretive, hiding or withholding true motives until one is sure that "the battle has been won" so to speak. Menendez was born at a time when many people would go on to play a significant role on the world stage, and his birthdate is no different - note that he has Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto all in triple declinational aspect!!! On top of all this, he has the Sun opposed Uranus with Uranus=Jupiter/Pluto, a series of combinations that all points to great luck, opportunity and popularity.

But Menendez has a very strong, potentially disasterous weakness - Neptune exactly squares his Sun, and closely squares his Mercury! THIS is the "ethically challenged" issues that Kean Jr. was talking about. I recently heard Menendez on an extended interview here on local NPR radio, and he evaded and dodged just about every question thrown at him, and unfortunately, the host didn't press him to answer those questions - typical Neptunian stuff. My own gut tells me that Menendez has got stuff to hide about all this, and as we in astrological cirlces know well, Neptune isn't a planet that is completely friendly with politicians. As the race gets closer down to the wire, we can be sure that more and more questions about Menendez's dealings will be asked; New Jerseyians have just about had their fill of corrupt politicians.

For Kean Jr.'s part, the 4 planet stellium of the Sun-Jupiter, Uranus-Pluto in Virgo accounts for his somewhat studious, laidback ways; the aforementioned conjunctions aid him considerably in elected office as well, along with Uranus=Venus/Pluto. The Sun in Virgo and Moon in Aquarius almost always makes for a very, very intelligent person, heightened in Kean's case with Uranus=Mercury/Pluto, and Mercury=Jupiter/Saturn. If Kean can keep hammering away at Menendez's ethics challenges, simply laying the facts out to the public and asking questions, his chances of winning New Jersey's Senate seat is good. In light of the fact that Kean declined to debate Menendez locally, in favor of debating him on "Meet The Press" and the whole thing falling through altogether, he will have to really pound the pavement, knocking on as many doors, kissing as many babies, shaking as many hands as possible and talking to anyone who'll listen, making his case about corruption in New Jersey politics and the need for higher ethical standards. With Mercury conjunct Venus in Libra, and the Moon probably opposed Mars in Leo, he should be able to make headway with the Garden State electorate. It doesn't hurt that his dad was Governor and part of the 911 Commission, either.

On the basis of the natal astrology alone, I'd have to grudgingly give the nod to Menendez, all things being equal, and taking the incumbant Senator's Neptunian ethical lapses out of the picture. However, with those Neptunian elements in the mix, and with Kean's paternal ties and not too shabby natal astrology, it accounts for the neck-and-neck race we all see now.

At present, Menendez has no exact Solar Arcs obtaining, but he does have transit Jupiter moving to square, and transit Saturn moving to conjunct, his natal Pluto; in light of the fact that Pluto is the planet par excellence of bigtime politics in our age, these transits will tell the tale as to whether Menendez can hang on to his slim lead and pullout a victory for the Dems. In early Nov, transit Jupiter will have just moved past square to his Pluto, while transit Saturn will be sitting EXACTLY on his Pluto!-suggesting a defeat for Menendez after a very, very close race that goes down to the wire.

For Kean Jr., transit Uranus opposes his Sun while transit Jupiter probably squares his Moon, with SA PLUTO=JUPITER exact this month. This suggests to me that he could emerge victorious. However, it must also be said that transit Saturn will square EXACTLY Kean's Neptune in early Nov, and, depending on exactly where Kean's Aquarian Moon is, opposed it as well. These are not welcome signs when you're vying for public office; they tend to signal a failed effort.

New Jersey has been and is at present a Democratic stronghold. Kean is the son of a much liked moderate/liberal Republican Governor. Menendez has a history of questionable dealings, was appointed to his Senate seat by another politician who at best is part and parcel of the Liberal partyline of the Democrats, and has no real name recognition outside of Union County. And both have tough Saturn transits on Election Day. It looks to be a fight to the finish.

I'm gonna go with my astrological gut and say that Kean Jr. wins - he has both transit Uranus opposed the Sun and SA Pluto=Jupiter in the run up to the elections. It'll be a nail-biter, but he'll pull it out.

Mu's Prediction: Kean Jr. wins



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