The first of three debates in the 2020 presidential election is slated to commence at 9 PM EDT in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, 20 September, moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. In the hot seats will be incumbent President Donald J. Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. With upwards of 90% of the electorate confirming that their minds are made up as to who to vote for, the debate may be an exercise in pointlessness, but will doubtless garner high ratings, as Americans tune in to watch these septuagenarian political pugilists try to bloody each other and craft a narrative which disqualifies their opponent.
A chart cast for the debate fleshes out the broad lines of the event, as always. The venue for this verbal battle is well established celestially, with Mars, representing campaigns, arguments and conflicts, at 25 Aries exactly squared Saturn, representing the presidency, at 25 Capricorn, angular on the 0 Aquarius MC. Saturn is more than emphasized here, as it comes to its direct station that very day, embedded and powerful, and the focus of all eyes at the MC for the event.
That Midheaven degree is more than appropriate, by the way, as it matches the Sun placement for every US administration beginning on 20 January (as do all, by Constructional fiat, unless begun early due to the death or premature departure of the sitting president). And that in fact is the prize at stake here – who will be sworn in next January? Who will head the administration of the country for the next four years?
But the cosmos can do better than that. With Mars is asteroid Ohio at 29 Aries, establishing the state for the debate. Also here is TNO Eris at 24 Aries, representing strife and discord, plenty of which is likely to be on display throughout the evening. Also here is the moderator, in the form of asteroid Wallace, at 22 Aries. Wallace exactly squares Pluto at 22 Capricorn, putting Chris Wallace in control of the situation, while a conjunction with asteroid Truth at 14 Aries may indicate an important facet of his job – fact-checking the candidates in real time.
As if to reinforce the vital nature of this task, and Wallace’s pivotal role in it, we see asteroid Christophe (a variant of Christopher, Wallace’s given first name) at 17 Capricorn, exactly conjunct Jupiter, ruling politics and exaggeration, and also conjunct asteroid Veritas at 10 Capricorn, Latin for “truth”, which itself exactly opposes asteroid Cleveland at 10 Cancer, the city of the debate, forming a T-Square with asteroid Truth. Given the fact that Trump has been clocked by the Washington Post as uttering more than 20,000 lies, falsehoods, exaggerations or misrepresentations in his almost four years as Chief Executive, fact-checking the debate could be a full-time job in itself.
Over all, Biden’s is the stronger hand celestially for the evening. Asteroid Bida, closest to Biden, lies above the horizon at 17 Sagittarius, conjoined asteroid America at 18 Sagittarius and exactly squared the Moon at 17 Pisces, so he’s a lock with the public (Moon), and in a more visible position (above the horizon) than asteroid Troemper (closest to Trump), which at 3 Gemini lies below the Ascendant. But of concern here is Neptune, which at 19 Pisces is with the Moon and squaring Bida. The public could be confused or inattentive, and Biden could come off as impractical, out of touch, unfocused or even “sleepy”, as in Trump’s favorite nickname for him of “Sleepy Joe”.
Biden also has PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) support in the form of asteroid Josephina, which at 22 Capricorn is exact with Pluto, giving him a commanding, forceful presence, and squared Mars, which may help to clear the cobwebs and allow a focused, energetic presentation. There may also be some sparks or clash of wills between Wallace and Biden, given their exact square. Asteroid Old Joe (yes, there is one!) at 23 Scorpio hugs the 21 Scorpio Descendant, lending angular force and power, and giving Biden another very visible celestial marker for the time.
Trump has his pluses as well. From 3 Gemini Troemper is trine the Sun at 7 Libra, so The Donald may feel at ease in his own skin, comfortable, perhaps even complacent in his upcoming performance, though Biden provides an irritant in the form of asteroid Jose, yet another Joseph variant, in square to Troemper from 7 Virgo. Troemper is also inconjunct Mercury with asteroid Whitehouse at 2 and 3 Scorpio. In and of itself, Mercury/Whitehouse depicts the debate (Mercury) for the Oval Office (Whitehouse), and Troemper’s inconjunct suggests he may need to adjust or modify (inconjunct) his rhetoric (Mercury) if he hopes to win it. Just for good measure, the cosmos gives us asteroid Fox at 29 Libra, in an out-of-Sign conjunction with Mercury/Whitehouse, indicating which network’s employee will be moderating the first debate.
Trump has some PNA variations for his first name as well, though they aren’t as close a match as Biden’s. Asteroid Donald Duck is the closest, and a nod to Trump’s cartoon-like demeanor; at 5 Sagittarius, Donald Duck opposes Troemper and is sextile the Sun, also squared Jose. Asteroid Donalu at 15 Leo conjoins asteroid Lie at 20 Leo – ‘nuff said there, as this depicts Trump’s strong personal identification with untruths. (In the words of Seinfeld character George Costanza, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”) These also square asteroid Josefa at 13 Scorpio, our last Joseph referent, establishing where most of the untruths Trump utters will be directed.
Finally, asteroid Donn, a common nickname for Donald (spelled with one “n”), though no one seems to call the President that, appears at 23 Sagittarius, conjunct Bida and also squared Moon/Neptune. Bida’s connection to the Moon is stronger, as exact, and now the playing field of Neptune’s “who is more demented?” issue has been leveled, with Trump subjected to the same potential confusion and lack of focus as Biden could display.
Perhaps most telling, COVID-19 has a prime seat at the table for this debate, and only one candidate can be judged for his response to it. Asteroid Koronis, closest to coronavirus and a reliable celestial stand-in for the pandemic, appears at 27 Aries, in the thick of it with a conjunction to Mars. Moreover, an exact pairing of asteroid Hygeia with TNO Varuna at 4 Leo hugs the 0 Leo IC, representing the foundation of the debate. Hygeia relates to public health issues, and Varuna represents one’s legacy, how a person is remembered, the mark they leave. Trump’s pandemic response will surely be front and center in the minds of voters, and Chris Wallace has scheduled the topic as one of six primary issues to be dealt with that night.
If you’re not into political posturing and bald-faced lies, then this debate is “must-flee TV” for you; the rest of us will have to muddle through, somehow.