It’s in the stars for Obama

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DENVER - Even the planets are aligning for Sen. Barack Obama.

Mr. Obama, who leads Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, was the consensus pick at yesterday’s United Astrology Conference as the candidate most likely to win the 2008 presidential election.

“He has the stability, along with the karmic destiny, to overturn the status quo,” said Edith Hathaway, an astrologer from Laguna Hills, Calif.

A panel of seven astrologers agreed that the passage of Saturn in opposition to Uranus, a phenomenon that begins on Election Day and last occurred 45 years ago, signifies social change, transformation and possibly upheaval.

As the self-described candidate of change, said astrologers, Mr. Obama of Illinois appears a more likely architect for transformation than New York’s Mrs. Clinton or presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The pronouncement came as welcome news to the audience of several hundred astrologers. At the start of the event, a show of hands found about 80 percent of the audience supporting an Obama presidency.

At one point, New York astrologer Shelly Ackerman called Mr. McCain an “idiot” and Mr. Obama a “wonderful human being,” prompting moderator Raymond Merriman to comment on the “wonderful objectivity of astrologers.”

At the same time, astrologers warned that winning the presidency this year could be a mixed blessing. They said the January inauguration is scheduled for a particularly bad time, planetarily speaking, and urged officials to move the event back to 12:30 p.m.

“This isn’t a terribly fortunate chart in which to be inaugurated president,” said astrologer Robert Hand. “I’m enormously concerned about [Mr. Obama‘s] safety.”

Mr. Merriman forecasts possible trouble even before the inauguration. “With Saturn opposite Uranus on Election Day, the person elected on Election Day may not be the person who’s inaugurated in January,” he said.

Volatile planetary events in the next few months also signify possible shifts in the presumptive presidential nominee.

“There are things that could happen in the next couple of months that could change it from what we think it is right now,” Ms. Ackerman said.

Astrologer Robert Blaschke agreed, saying, “I think there’s a lot of unexpected things that are going to happen between now and the Democratic National Convention.”

More than 1,500 astrologers gathered at the Sheraton Hotel here for the United Astrology Conference, the largest such gathering in years.

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