Now that the political party conventions have selected their candidates, the prediction of the winner can begin. The acceptance speeches of Robert Dole and President Clinton mark the beginning of the campaign for election. The race will last 68 days and the voting will be on November 5th, 1996. These are the factors I use to analyze who will be the winner.
Illusion and dramatic moves will sum up Dole's campaign efforts. Using the electronic media of television to create a young and vigorous candidate was the signature of the Republican convention and will dominate his campaign. He has made dramatic decisions throughout 1996 in his efforts to win. It was an unexpected surprise to all when he announced his decision to resign as the Senate Majority Leader and become Citizen Dole. He gave up his lifetime career to bet all his chips on this race. I believe it was also done to conserve his limited energies to campaigning. It was another surprise when Dole announced Jack Kemp as his running mate. They have had major differences in the past so this was no easy marriage. Kemp brings youthful maturity into Dole's campaign and the ability to warm people up with his energy and enthusiasm. Let us not forget that the Vice President is only a heartbeat away from running the country. If Dole were elected, he would have a high probability of dying in office the first year.
There will be another surprise turn of events in the Dole campaign between September 3-17th, especially around Sept. 6-13th. It's a period of time for Dole to make more dramatic moves to win. It could be a crisis period and risk taking will be high on his choice list. This is the last efforts of a man who has wanted to be President for a long time. There is no tomorrow or turning back. Dole will be willing to burn the bridges from his past positions to meet his goal. This is a year of endings for Dole. He is clearing away the structure of his old life to create a new one which means throwing away the old to make room for the new.
The period of September 26-October 3rd will bring another surprise power move by either camp to turn the trend of the campaign. Unexpected national news events will dominate and the news programs will have plenty to cover. Most of October will stay on the campaign track shaped and altered in September. Expect the campaigns, especially Dole's to get nasty beginning October 29th through November 5th. This is a period of aggression. Power plays will pull the stops out to sway public opinion. We may see the worst commercials of character assassination to date.
President Clinton's acceptance speech was launched with force and vigor but marred earlier in the day with the resignation of Dick Morris in a sex scandal. The timing of this campaign indicates independence of action to set his own agenda. Clinton will be calling the shots and driving the issues, not Dole. Already Dole is responding bitterly about how Clinton's campaign is stealing his sound bites like "building bridges." Clinton's campaign will be in the driver's seat pushing their issues. Clinton has had four years to develop his national executive abilities. They should come out in full force during this election. His green horn, "new to the beltway" regionalism has been tempered by four hard years of national media criticism. He has become "presidential" in his responses and persona. This seasoned executive ability will keep him on course to win as long as he is pushing his agenda, not Dole's. This entire 1996 has been a period of heavy responsibility and duty for Clinton.
That pressure under fire will not let up until 1998. The unexpected news events around September 26th-October 3rd call out Clinton and the White House to respond. The need to act responsibly will put his executive ability in the limelight. Forged alliances between open enemies or difficult partnerships to peace are threaten. Clinton's ability to be a steady hand in getting others to keep their commitments will be prominent. If the dirty politics in TV commercials materialize at the end of the election, they will be directed at Clinton's personal character. Considering the timing, it will be difficult for him to temper his reactions. Off camera he will be livid, on camera will he keep his cool? It's a time to be defensive but he appears to be able to use light humor to deflect arrows.
The day of November 5th favors President Clinton as a balanced, even handed choice of effective communication and fairness. This day of decision for Dole is less favorable. Elizabeth Dole and Jack Kemp will aid the campaign but the gap between the candidates will remain.
President Clinton will be in office into the end of this century.
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