Trump is instead sending Vice President
A top aide to Polish President
"It's very understandable and obvious that the president, who is also responsible for emergency situations in
Meanwhile, government-friendly media were casting the best light on the situation, stressing the severity of the hurricane and that
Some political opponents, however, voiced satisfaction that the ruling party lost the potential electoral boost only six weeks ahead of
Some also called it a reminder to the government not to rely too heavily on
Some critics, who accuse the government of drifting in an illiberal direction, voiced satisfaction that the ruling party was losing the likely image boost it was counting on.
The populist Law and Justice party is already far ahead in the polls, riding the wave of a booming economy and popular social spending policies. Still, it will be fighting to hold on to the parliamentary majority that it now holds.
The change of plans also deprives Trump of a chance to bask in an enthusiastic welcome abroad. On his first visit, in 2017, he was met by flag-waving crowds chanting his name — a sharp contrast to protests and "
It's the second time Trump has canceled a trip in recent weeks. The president had originally been scheduled to fly from
Although Pence will be welcomed respectfully, a vice president simply doesn't carry the same weight or garner the same level of attention.
On this government's watch,
The Law and Justice government has also dramatically reduced Polish dependence on Russian gas — an energy source increasingly provided by
Above all, Prime Minister
Still, more than 40 other world leaders are still due to attend commemorations marking the start of the war, which killed more than 70 million people over six years.
And the delegation now led by Pence will include other high-ranking
One expectation is a refinement of a plan announced in June to increase the current level of
Perhaps the biggest symbolic reward of all would involve the
The bureaucratic hassle, cost and risk of rejection in the visa application process has long made Poles feel like second-class allies compared to Western Europeans. And it has stung all the more given Polish military support for
"It's been a thorn in Polish-American relations for several decades now, and if it happens it will be a big deal, and I am convinced it will," Baranowski said.