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OCTOber 2007
GALACTIC PROFILE

Condoleezza Rice

by Alex Miller-Mignone

Fred ThompsonFred Thompson’s September 5 announcement of his presidential candidacy shocked no one. The former Senator from Tennessee had been dipping his toes into the electoral waters for more than six months, and was already coming in second in most national polls of likely Republican voters well before his official announcement. Thompson is the latest presidential hopeful to chase the Reagan chimera—a fellow actor with a commanding stage presence and a good-ole-boy demeanor, he lacks the conservative pedigree of Reagan’s 20 years in the political wilderness, but hopes to cash in on the nostalgia still evoked by the GOP’s senior saint.

Born Freddie Dalton Thompson in Sheffield, Alabama in 1942 (he shortened that to "Fred" when he joined the Tennessee Bar Association in 1967), his father, Fletcher, was a used-car salesman and his mother, Ruth, a shop clerk. Thompson is the first member of his family to attend college, earning a joint degree in philosophy and political science in 1964 from the University of Mississippi, and a JD from Vanderbilt in 1967.

Thompson worked as an assistant US Attorney from 1969 to 1972, when he managed Howard Baker’s successful Senate campaign. He continued with Baker’s staff, acting as co-counsel in the Watergate investigation, where he prompted Baker’s now iconic question, “What did the President know, and when did he know it?”

From the mid-seventies to the mid-nineties, Thompson divided his time between lobbying in Washington and a law practice in Nashville, but also found time to appear in a number of films. He bowed in a role where he played himself, director Roger Donaldson’s Marie (1985), which was based on a corruption case involving Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton, which Thompson had prosecuted in 1977. He followed this with notable character parts in such films as The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2 and In the Line of Fire, and became typecast as the elder statesman. After his decade-long stint in the Senate, Thompson returned to acting, garnering a high level of visibility on the small screen as DA Arthur Branch on NBC’s Law and Order.

In 1994 Thompson was one of the beneficiaries of the anti-Clinton fervor which swept Republicans into control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. Ironically, Thompson picked up Al Gore’s former Senate seat, in a special election to fill the remaining two years of that term. Re-elected in 1996 for a full six-year term, his time in the Senate was unremarkable, apart from investigations into Clinton re-election campaign irregularities in the 1996 presidential election (Chinese contributors and the sale of the Lincoln Bedroom) and his vote in the 1998 Clinton impeachment trial (he voted to convict on the obstruction of justice charge, but against the perjury charge). After leaving the Senate in 2003, Thompson returned to acting, and did some voice-over work for the 2004 Republican National Convention. In 2005 George W. Bush solicited Thompson’s help to steer Chief Justice nominee John Roberts through the confirmation process in the Senate. Like Reagan, Thompson hosted his own radio show for ABC News from 2006 to 2007, which provided him with a weekly platform to present his conservative views and develop a national following.

In March 2007 Thompson, responding to an opening among conservatives dissatisfied with the GOP primary field, allowed himself to be drawn into a discussion of a potential presidential candidacy on Fox News Sunday. Almost immediately, a “Draft Fred” internet movement ensued, with self-styled “Fred Heads” singing his praises in conservative quarters across the country. A presidential exploratory committee was formed June 1, 2007, and on July 18 it was informally stated by the nascent campaign that Thompson would make an announcement of his intentions after Labor Day. Thompson’s standing in national polls has been a reliable second place, but early fundraising efforts have not been encouraging, garnering a disappointing $3.5 million in the second quarter. In July a major campaign staff shake-up was announced, reportedly precipitated by Thompson’s second wife, Jeri. On September 5, 2007, Thompson appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to announce his official candidacy, skipping a GOP debate in New Hampshire that evening to do so.

Thompson’s private life, while not as riddled with inconsistencies as Rudy Guiliani’s, is not without its pitfalls. He was married in high school in 1959 to his pregnant girlfriend Sarah Lindsey. The couple had three children before divorcing in 1985. There were rumors that infidelity prompted the break-up, and between marriages Thompson gained a reputation as a lady-killer, with numerous affairs among Washington Beltway insiders and Nashville’s social set, including country singer Lorrie Morgan (AKA “the Elizabeth Taylor of Country” for her five marriages), GOP fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher and columnist Margaret Carlson. Thompson’s gadabout ways after his divorce earned him the nickname of “the Tennessee Stud,” and a need to appear more settled may in part have prompted his 2002 marriage with Jeri Kehn, a Republican consultant 24 years his junior, whom he had met in 1996.

Thompson has non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer which is currently in remission; his is a very rare variety of the disease which responds well to drug therapy.

Thompson’s laconic, laid-back, La-Z-Boy recliner image has prompted some allegations of indolence on his part. His 1960 high school yearbook picture was captioned, “The lazier a man is, the more he plans to do tomorrow," and the 10 September Newsweek cover article profiling him was titled “Lazy Like a Fox.” There are some concerns in GOP circles that Thompson, who campaigned for his Tennessee Senate seat in rolled-up sleeves from the back of a beat-up, rented red Ford pick-up, may not have the stamina and focus to mount a successful national presidential campaign. But he is currently the darling of the evangelical contingent of the GOP base, with the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land enthusiastically describing him as “a southern-fried Reagan.”

Thompson holds an 86.1% lifetime vote rating from the American Conservative Union for his Senate career, and supports Fundamentalist Christian stands on social issues (though in a post-announcement interview which provoked much tongue-clucking among evangelicals, he stated he does not attend church regularly). He is a committed Federalist, and has come down in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, although he is against a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, preferring states to make their own decisions in both matters. He supports free trade and low taxes, is skeptical of global warming, and is an advocate of Second Amendment gun ownership rights. He was in favor of the Iraq War, though he admits mistakes in the handling of it, and does not favor withdrawal.

Born 19 August 1942, Fred Thompson has a 26 Leo Sun which fills in the missing leg of a Galactic T-Square, forming a Grand Cross. The affected anomalies comprise an opposition to the Black Hole at 27 Aquarius, and squares to the Maser at 27 Taurus and the Quasar at 27 Scorpio. This powerful configuration allows Thompson to adopt a useful persona at will, adapting to his audience’s expectations, via the Black Hole’s chameleon-like ability to be all things to all people. In essence, Thompson is a void who colors himself to match his surroundings, a perfect trait for an actor. The usefulness of this capacity can also be seen in his Senate campaign, where Thompson the candidate presented himself in rolled up shirt sleeves and a pick-up truck, trading catfish recipes with the crowd, whereas the tastes of Thompson the man run more to tailored suits, exotic sports cars and fine caviar.

The Quasar affords a natural ability for networking, and for standing out in a crowd; it promotes success and visibility, and recognition or reward for one’s efforts. It allows Thompson to succeed despite that Leonine indolence which is so marked a feature of his character. The only portion of the Grand Cross which seems thus far to be fairly inactive is the Maser, a troublesome, problematic energy which evokes controversy and volatility. That galactic shoe may be about to drop, given the level of scrutiny attendant upon a presidential bid. Maser energy is also very erratic, provoking bursts of activity in one moment, and bouts of lassitude the next, which may make Thompson an uneven campaigner unable to adhere to the rigorous schedule demanded of a successful candidate.

Mercury and Mars conjoin precisely at 11 Virgo, and tightly square the Black hole at 10 Sagittarius. Black Hole Mars can also indicate energy fluctuation, and a voracious sexual appetite; there may be more revelations of romantic indiscretions yet to come. Black Hole Mars plays it close to the vest, but there is also a Yod configuration formed from inconjunct aspects to a revelatory Quasar at 10 Aries and a media-focused Pulsar at 10 Aquarius—if there are any skeletons in the Thompson closet, they’re sure to be revealed.

Black Hole Mercury can be a very persuasive communicator, able to speak glibly, with emotion and conviction, but not necessarily imparting much of consequence. Thompson is likely to betray a Reaganesque turn of phrase, a felicity with the language of common folk which belies his aristocratic tastes, and he has an innate ability to land a good hit on a debate opponent when he sees an opening. His pronouncements may be grand but also grandiloquent, evoking a hopeful "morning in America" nostalgia without anything substantive to back it up. Unfortunately, that will be more than enough for many people. But Black Hole Mercury can also stumble. In the week after his announcement, when questioned about Congress’ intervention in the Terri Schiavo case, an incident dear to the heart of social conservatives, Thompson averred that he could not remember the details and had no opinion. When pressed, he fobbed off the questioner with the anemic response that generally, he believes local matters are best kept local, not an answer calculated to appeal to the evangelical base.

Fred and Jerri ThompsonVenus at 3 Leo conjoins a Black Hole at 2 Leo. Fundraising could be facilitated with this placement, but it also represents the Achilles heel of his love life. If his playboy image predominates, evangelicals may cool on his candidacy. Pluto here at 5 Leo, itself square the Black Hole at 6 Scorpio and in square to Quasars at 4 Taurus and Scorpio, reinforces both these issues—money gravitates to this Pluto, but so does scandal. There is also an uncomfortable feeling coalescing about his wife, Jeri, whose reported meddling in the campaign staff summons up the image of the power behind the throne, a la Hillary Clinton circa 1992. It seems to some as if Jeri is the driving force in the duo, while lazy Leo Fred allows his wife to manage the details as he looks on from the recliner, reminiscent of cat-napping Ronnie and ball-busting Nancy.

Jupiter at 15 Cancer conjoins the US Sun at 13 Cancer and squares a Black Hole at 13 Libra and a Quasar at 14 Libra, as well as the USA Saturn, representing the presidency, also at 14 Libra. This is a useful connection, implying a gracious reception by the American people and the chance of gaining the nation’s highest office. The Black Hole is unpredictable here; it could just as easily represent a will-o-the-wisp, an opportunity lost, but the Quasar promotes achievement and ensures visibility.

Saturn at 11 Gemini is exactly squared the Mercury/Mars union at 11 Virgo and thus creates a T-Square with the Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius. One can see the Saturn/Mercury dynamic in Thompson’s conservative rhetoric and the rather circumspect, foreshortened quality of his responses—Thompson is a man of few words, delivered in a laconic, folksy style. Saturn/Mars doesn’t seem to have dampened his sexual antics, as might be expected, but it does show in a sort of low, rumbling discontent, something short of full-out temper when Thompson is displeased. Saturn opposed a Black Hole could pull a rabbit out of the career hat, propelling Thompson into the Oval Office, but it could just as easily describe huge amounts of wasted effort.

Uranus at 4 Gemini is conjunct Saturn and exactly opposed a Black Hole at 4 Sagittarius. Saturn/Uranus can be progressive or reactionary; one thing it’s not is subtle. In his espousal of conservative values, Thompson appears to incline more to the reactionary end of that sliding scale, but his advocacy of federalism suggests a certain degree of egalitarian outlook as well; a desire to step down power one level closer to the people. The opposition to a Black Hole suggest a quirky, unpredictable element to Thompson’s character, one which is not entirely within his conscious control, but it virtually guarantees good instincts: he intuitively recognizes opportunities and is quick to take advantage of them.

Fred ThompsonNeptune at 28 Virgo exactly opposes the Black Hole at 28 Pisces. This is another excellent placement for an actor, allowing him to engage in fantasy with every appearance of authenticity. While this may be a useful trait in Hollywood, it is rather more dangerous in Washington; it may be difficult to determine when Thompson is sincere, and when he is dissembling: this aspect describes the perfect cosmic poker face. There may also be issues with alcohol or substance abuse.

When Thompson announced the formation of his presidential exploratory committee on 1 June 2007, the Sun at 10 Gemini was just conjunct his natal Saturn, with Mercury at 4 Cancer conjunct a Black Hole and the nation’s Venus/Jupiter union at 3 and 5 Cancer, and Venus at 25 Cancer highlighting the nation’s natal Mercury at 24 Cancer, an auspicious beginning. By September 5 and the official announcement of his candidacy, the Sun had moved to 12 Virgo on the natal Mercury/Mars conjunction and square Saturn, while transit Mercury at 29 Virgo now conjoined Thompson’s natal Neptune, with Jupiter retrograde at 11 Sagittarius exactly opposing natal Saturn, and squared Mercury/Mars. Again, impressive transits which ably depict the viability and potential of his candidacy.

But in this accelerated election cycle, when the rest of the competition had been in play since February, it may be that Thompson waited too long. A certain contingent of the GOP base has been longing for Thompson, Moses-like, to lead them out of the political deserts of the Iraq debacle, but the manna offered by their unchurched messiah may be flat and tasteless. In banking on voter burn-out and boredom with the Republican field in this extended campaign, Thompson may have mistaken satiety for hunger, and he will have to be at the top of his game to reach his goal.


Alex Miller-Mignone, photo
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.

His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at Alixilamirorim@aol.com.
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October 2007
Table of Contents
October '07 Daykeeper Home
Jessica Murray: Mercury, Dispassionate Curiosity (2 of 2)
Alex Miller-Mignone: Fred Thompson, Presidential Candidate
Crystal: Full Moon in Taurus
Alex Miller-Mignone: GOP Summer Sex Follies
Boots Hart: Pluto in Capricorn 4
Daily Success Guide
October 1 – 31
Boots Hart: October General Astrological Influences
The Maya Archives
Books Reviewed: The Taoist Soul-Body
Astrologer's Bookshelf: Astrology for Beginners
Goddess of the Month: Mary
Sign of the Month: LIBRA

Maya's Sun Sign Archives

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