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Poland: Reactions to Obama's Victory

Reactions to the results of the U.S. election dominate the Polish blogosphere today. Blogging politicians, journalists, microbloggers and bloggers interested in the U.S. elections are sharing their joy when referring to Obama, as well as their skeptical opinions towards the current Polish president and the government in general.

Obama's victory was predicted and popularized in the social media, like in this YouTube interview (POL) with journalist Bartosz Węglarczyk, who shortly after the end of the campaign was strongly convinced about Obama's success. However, the enthusiastic welcome given to the winner has actually impressed Polish bloggers.

Marcin Gadzinski, the author of Biały Domek (‘White House’) blog on the U.S.-related issues, published a post titled ‘Thank you America,’ reflecting the American happiness of the day (POL):

[…] And did you see those people in Grant Park in Chicago today?

And did you see the Black American guy with baby face and big ears, who was standing on the stage?
His father was from Kenya. His mother came from a village in Kansas. Today their son is the president of the most powerful country in the world.

The whole world watched it. And every one felt the unique American energy. Like the euphoria and pride after the landing on the moon. Like the grief after the Kennedy assassination. Like the fear and later the solidarity after 9/11. Big American emotions, like tsunami, flooding the world. […]

Because America chose Obama for their president today and they are proud of themselves. They should be. The whole world was keeping an eye on them all the way. Again.

Marcin is right stating that the Polish media was watching the elections. A leading radio station RMF FM created a portal. News station TVN24, famous for promoting news coverage with wide range of opinions, is still posting on the topic, including videos from Chicago. 10,386 people from Poland (based on IP addresses, not nationality) voted on ‘If the world could vote?‘ international website. Gazeta posted today more details of the voting, reporting that mainly younger generations and minorities contributed to the victory.

Blogger Paweł Adamiec, author of USA 2008 blog devoted to the U.S. elections, flagged up the importance of Obama's victory in the context of the American fight for equality. He praised Obama for his enigmatic personality, wise system of his campaign funding and his ability to appeal to the multicultural electorate. He concluded (POL):

Let me also congratulate the American citizens, who with the high percentage of votes proved how developed the American democracy is.

Simultaneously, Polish politicians started questioning Obama's competency. President Kaczyński, in an interview posted here, was seeking more information on the actual changes planned by the new president. Lech Wałęsa questioned the next steps of US presidency as well (POL):

I am worried, because winning is one thing, and actually achieving something with the victory is a different matter.

When talking about a potential shift in U.S. politics towards Poland, SLD party representative Jerzy Wenderlich suggested(POL):

Abolishing visa requirement for Poles would be a good start for the new administration.

On Politbiuro political news portal, user intel-e-gent raised an interesting issue for the Poles – that of the nuclear shield planned to be built on the territory of Poland (POL):

The historical victory of a Black American politician will not have a huge impact on the Poles, I believe. Maybe we will not need to build the shield.

Earlier this year, Obama, when asked about it, left the question open.

Bloggers like Jarosław Flis, Władysław Sidorowicz, Artur Zawisza and many others shared their views on the election in the Polish political context. People also shared comments on forums at Gazeta and TVN24. Goldenwoman01 wrote (POL):

In Poland, we cannot even see on the horizon a similar personality.

Regardless of what Obama chooses to do next, he is the man of the day in the Polish social media.

5 comments

  • […] reactions to Obama’s victory http://globalvoicesonline.org/2008/11/07/polish-reactions-to-obamas-victory/ #GlobalVoicesPoland « előző | sylwiapresley — 2008. 11. 07. […]

  • jordan and maria

    Very informative and interesting round-up, thanks!

    I imagine that quite a few countries would like to see the VISA requirement lifted, but does Poland have a unique claim on this request given the past several years?

    And how many Poles think that Obama is Muslim anyway?

  • In Poland, youngsters and mid-aged go for Obama,
    grandpas go for “grandpa” McCain, mostly because he’s of Republican (a.k.a right wing) origins.

    We congratulate Mr Obama on his victory and look forward to accept no-visa entry of Polish citizens to the US.

  • cheryl

    the visa requirement lifted? i highly doubt it. America is in her WORST financial crisis since the GREAT DEPRESSION. Thousands of blue collar workers are getting laid off. The housing situation is a catastrophe; major banks have gone bankrupt. The country is over $10 TRILLION dollars in debt, and we have to deal with a messy war. We are battling with the illegal immigrant (from Latin America) issue, along with health, wellfare, education, and social security. No way IN HELL, is America going to suddenly invite people from other countries to come over here in throngs. NOT WHEN AMERICANS ARE LOSING JOBS. NOT WHEN AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE A HARD TIME GETTING AND KEEPING A JOB. Get real people! And realize the world doesn’t revolve around you.

  • Not much of a difference here, Cheryl, Laidoffs are just about to happen around in great numbers as well.

    Nobody thinks the world revolves around us. We just believe, lending America a hand fighting a war allegedly being OUR war too, that this all actually calls for some payoff. The recent financial crisis is though a perfect excuse not to do so.

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