By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, Polish Daily News and FI2W reporter
Alex Storozynski, a Polish American writer, describes the victory of President-elect Barack Obama as “a victory for intellectualism over ignorance.” He pointed out that it could be very beneficial for the Polish American community:
Obama’s choice of congressman Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff offers Polish-Americans great optimism, because Emanuel, whose Chicago district is heavily Polish, is familiar with our issues, like the missile defense shield, and he has been an outspoken advocate for including Poland in the Visa Waiver Program.
Barack Obama himself has also supported Poland’s inclusion into a Visa Waiver Program, which would allow Poles to enter the U.S. for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.
Many Polish Americans, regardless of their political views, embraced Obama’s win, hoping he will quickly start working on improving the economy and moving the country in a new direction.
Some community leaders, like Frank Milewski, president of the Polish American Congress Downstate New York Division, were hoping that Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, would get a position in the Obama administration. Brzezinski endorsed Obama as early as August 2007.