Yes, fivejedjon is right, and "would" in this context is not wrong at all.
It's used when you are narrating something in the past, and you want to make a temporary leap forward in your narrative; that is, while the event you want to narrate is now in the past, from the point of view of your story, it is in the future.
"In January, 2005, Barack Obama began his first term as a Senator in Illinois. This was a proud moment for him. He could not have imagined then that in 2008 he would be elected President. His first Senate reforms were ... "
So the narrative here begins when becomes a senator, looks forward to 2008, then goes back to his Senate years.
If this were narrated in the present tense (the historical present), you'd have:
"In January, 2005, Barack Obama begins his first term as a Senator in Illinois. This is a proud moment for him. He can't imagine that in 2008 he will be elected President. His first Senate reforms are ... "
(See this link for better examples of the historical present)
Historical present - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So, since "will be" is used in the present tense narrative for a future time, "would be" is used in a past tense narrative for a future time.
Others might explain it a little differently. This isn't meant to be definitive.
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