The President of the USA is inaugurated on the same day and at the same time every 4 years, giving certain enduring qualities to the institution that are possible to analyse astrologically. The date and time are 20 Jan at 12pm in Washington DC. There are occasional exceptions, and before 1937 the date was the 4th March.
This consistency of time and date gives almost the same Angles and Sun for every inauguration. The fixed Sun (c.1 Aquarius) and ASC (c.14 Taurus) suggest the stability and endurance of the institution. Aquarius indicates the democratically-elected nature of the job, that the President is not there as a tyrant but as someone who ideally works with all the different groupings of people and interests. America is known for its wealth, which it does not have by accident, and Taurus Rising shows the importance of the President managing the economy well, perhaps also a need to express (ASC) his polices in economic, even materialistic terms. And the Capricorn MC shows that the President is there to achieve something and to leave a legacy. (Hence e.g. the Presidential libraries).
This consistency in the chart means we can also bring some of the stars into the equation. The strongest stars are those which are found on an Angle, and in this case, since the 1949 election, the star Menkar has been conjunct the ASC (using a 1 degree orb).
So more than any other star, Menkar describes the modern US Presidency. It is the brightest star in the constellation Cetus, the Whale. In ancient times, whales were not eco-friendly super-intelligent beings, but human-eating monsters from the depths. The Babylonians referred to this area of the sky as "the chaos of the deep". It is known as one of the most difficult stars to live with, because it makes you so open to the unconscious depths, to collective forces.
Menkar, or Alpha Cetus, is in the nose or jaw of the whale
All leaders tend to be an expression of the fears, desires and aspirations of the people, but Menkar here suggests that in post-war America this sort of identification has been unusually close. Positively, this can be a leader who is aware of, tuned into the collective but not unconsciously identified with it, and able to move it in a creative direction. An example of this is perhaps Roosevelt, who managed to get the economy out of the Great Depression and win two major wars with the country coming out thriving, as well as lay the groundwork for a really intelligent and successful reconstruction of Germany and Japan (cf Bush and Iraq). Menkar was just out of its 1 degree orb during this period, but you could argue that it was actually very active, with the wideness of the orb providing the possibility for self-awareness in a President, allowing him to be aware of and creatively use the collective forces.
The other possibilities with Menkar are that the President becomes an expression of the worst of the collective, or is a victim to it. Since 1949, the orb of Menkar to the Presidential Ascendant has been narrowing, and around 2041 it will be exact. You could argue that the narrower the gap, the more likely it is that Presidents will manifest the negative potential of Menkar.
And I think we have seen that with both Clinton and Bush, both of whom interestingly have an outer planet on their ASC – Clinton has Neptune and Bush has Pluto – making them personally open to collective forces, for better or for worse. Clinton, via the Monica Lewinsky scandal, became a victim of the collective, of the right wing Republican mentality that could not stand him. But he was also able to use his connection to the collective more positively, so that he became known as ‘The first black President.’ Whereas Bush’s connection seems more one-sidedly negative, through his appeal to the rednecks and his ability to whip up the fears and prejudices of the collective to serve his own purposes.
With Menkar closing in over the next 34 years, it is possible that we will see much more of these types of President, who are tuned into the collective and become either victims of it or who manipulate it. It will probably be a good thing, therefore, if the Presidents are not personally too open to the collective, if they do not have Neptune or Pluto Rising, for example. With the Uranus-Pluto square just around the corner, and with the forces for change gathering pace in the world, and with all the insecurity that brings, these are the sort of times we are most likely to see the collective rising up from the deep like the sea monster of old, and electing leaders that suit its purposes.