The next president: Do planets hold clue?

From the Associated Press

denver -- Picking a winner of the presidential contest is front and center at what’s being billed as the largest astrologers’ convention in years.

More than 1,500 astrologers from 45 countries have descended on Denver, site of the Democratic National Convention in August, for the “United Astrology Conference: Rockin’ the Universe.”

The gathering concludes Tuesday with a panel predicting a presidential winner in November.

Key to those picks: astrological charts for John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. And integral to those charts: the candidates’ exact birth times.


A hush fell over the convention hall late Thursday when Dallas astrologer Joni Patry announced a birth time for Obama, one she said she got from a client with connections to the campaign: Aug. 4, 1961, at 7:11 p.m.

McCain’s birth time was embedded like a gold nugget in a Mother’s Day campaign ad. His mother, Roberta, mentioned that her son was born Aug. 29, 1936, at 11 a.m.

“All the astrologers are like, ‘Wow,’ ” Patry said. “As an astrologer getting his birth time, that’s everything.”

Clinton’s birth time remains a moving target.


“I think they’re hip to us and just don’t want us to know that information,” joked astrologer Shelley Ackerman, who will serve on Tuesday’s panel.

Accurate birth times are essential for astrologers devising charts of the moon, stars and planets they use to predict the future -- or the race. Ackerman said McCain’s ad changed his known birth time by at least two hours, wreaking havoc with predictions on his presidential aspirations. Birth data are rated for accuracy and shared through websites.

According to a 2005 Gallup USA survey, 25% of Americans believe in astrology.