Generally, I take all things astrological with a grain of salt. I do recognize a few characteristic traits from my zodiac sign, but I also believe that birth dates don’t make the person. However, there’s no denying that some people are perfect representations of their sign. My Pisces friend is ruled by her emotions and almost every Capricorn I know is highly ambitious. So when I found out that Barack Obama, with his oratory prowess and regal disposition, is a Leo, I wasn’t too surprised.
If our astrological signs can affect how we work and exercise, then surely they could factor into presidential performances as well. When it comes to our most famous (and infamous) presidents, how do their placements on the zodiac chart come into play?
Barack Obama: Leo
Leos are naturally inclined toward leadership positions (Bill Clinton was also a Leo). Their confidence and drive make them feel like they could tackle any issue, big or small. That’s good news for us, since our current president has some pretty big problems on his plate. Obama’s assurance that he could unite the country and improve international relations was one reason so many rallied behind him. His straightforward, playful nature, so characteristic of Leos, was unaffected by the flurry of admiration and support that enveloped him. Even with the constant comparisons to Kennedy, one of the most beloved American presidents, he’s graceful and levelheaded. Prior to the election, many wondered if anyone could pull America out of the apathy and depression left in Bush’s wake. Looks like it took a Leo.
George W. Bush: Cancer
In some ways, Dubya embodies many classic Cancer traits. A crab has difficulty letting go of the past and can turn aggressive and reactionary if his loved ones are threatened—like waging war on someone who tried to kill his father, for example. They’re very family-oriented and prefer the comfort of home above all else, which may explain Bush’s frequent trips to his ranch in Texas. Cancers are notoriously moody, and though Bush displayed an optimism that bordered on delusional most of the time, the tide changed quickly if reporters hit a nerve at press conferences. However, Cancers are also supposed to be cautious with money and mostly ruled by common sense, two characteristics few would associate with Bush the Second.
Richard Nixon: Capricorn
Astrological goats are driven and will work tirelessly to achieve their goals. Capricorns attempting to gain power can be calculating and methodical and sometimes have difficulty appreciating what they’ve already accomplished, instead focusing on what comes next. Their determination makes success seem inevitable, but insecurity can also plague their inner thoughts and end up destroying their dreams. Nixon is a great example of this: he rose swiftly and effortlessly up the political ladder at a young age (he became Eisenhower’s VP at thirty-nine), but his paranoia and self-doubt led him to commit foolish and unnecessary acts that prompted his demise. Capricorns are also mindful of their status and reputation among their peers—possibly why Nixon was so concerned with how the press portrayed him.
John F. Kennedy: Gemini
No shocker here—one of the most charismatic presidents was born under one of the most charming signs in the zodiac. [The author is a Gemini—and quite charming. Ed.] Even after the Bay of Pigs mishap, Kennedy’s public approval rating was at 78 percent. One wonders if other presidents would’ve fared so well; Nixon reportedly said that he would’ve been impeached had he made the same mistake. Kennedy was known for his great sense of humor and inquisitiveness, two qualities usually attributed to Geminis. The adaptability of the Gemini personality also helped him make a variety of friends in different social circles and distinguish himself as a hard worker both in the Oval Office and on the football field. As Time magazine puts it in their 1961 Man of the Year article, “Kennedy has always had a way with the people—a presence that fits many moods.” He remains one of the most popular presidents to date.
Theodore Roosevelt: Scorpio
Scorpios are intense and mysterious and one never knows which side—caring or cold, weak or strong—will show itself. To the public, Roosevelt was the epitome of a cowboy: masculine, strong-willed, and good-natured. Privately, he was so devastated by the loss of his first wife that he shut down emotionally; he wouldn’t talk about her and kept his daughter at a distance because her presence was a reminder of what he’d lost. He also channeled the Scorpio tendency to explore problems and sense how to solve them, such as when he avoided a coal strike at the beginning of his presidential career and negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, earning him a Nobel Peace Prize.
Abraham Lincoln: Aquarius
Lincoln usually tops most political buffs’ presidential rankings (usually within the first three listed). When he came into power, the country was deeply divided over the issue of slavery, and Lincoln, who spoke out against slavery, contributed to the tension. Lincoln’s new ways of thinking were scary to people afraid of change, but he was only following his Aquarian nature—wanting to bring different, challenging ideas into the world. Aquarius’s key planet is Uranus (tee hee), which makes those under its sign a little rebellious against the status quo. Aquarians are also the thinkers of the astrology world; they love exploring new concepts and are great communicators. As a farmer’s son who mostly schooled himself and read anything he could get his hands on, not to mention being the scribe of one of the most famous speeches in U.S. history, there’s no doubt about Lincoln’s spot on the zodiac chart.
Astrological signs alone don’t create good or bad presidents, just as they can’t absolutely predict the future or offer concrete insight into one’s personality. Astrology’s just one of several ways to analyze character traits, but it’s worth noting that more presidents have fallen under Scorpio and Aquarius—the two problem-solvers of the zodiac—than the other signs. We all have innate qualities that make us unique, whether resulting from our birthdays or random chance. How we choose to use them—stepping up to the challenge of leading a broken nation like Obama, or sinking under the pressure of a hyper-focused mind like Nixon—is what truly makes our fates.