It is a big week as POTUS plants a tree and meets the pontiff.

  • “The event was open press, but here are a few particulars. Pope Benedict XVI emerged from an Alitalia plane in his traditional white garb. He did not kiss the ground upon descending the stairway to the tarmac. He was greeted by President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and Jenna Bush. The group proceeded down a red carpet, past an honor guard and into the terminal, where they remained for about 15 minutes. Then the Pontiff, the president, Mrs. Bush and Jenna walked back outside and the pope descended into a large black limo, part of a motorcade of the type usually used by visiting heads of state. No, there was no sign of the Popemobile. The Pontiff was whisked away and the president immediately proceeded to his motorcade, your pool struggling as usual to stay with him.” — Keith Koffler, CongressDaily

  • “A few miscellaneous facts provided by the White House to the pool: — The Boeing 777 on which the pope arrived is designated ‘Shepherd One.’ — This is the first time the president of the United States has ever greeted a head of state (the pope being not only the leader of the Catholic Church but the ruler of Vatican City State) at the airport.” — Koffler

  • “Motorcade to and from Andrews was normal. At one Beltway crossing, there were no cars to be seen in either direction at all, during rush hour. This conjured up images best summarized by Mark Knoller of CBS, who remarked that the papal arrival had probably inspired an obviously unintended but unfortunately significant outcry of the Lord’s name being taken in vain up and down 495.” — Koffler

  • “The most perilous part of our journey occurred at approximately 4:40 p.m. just outside the POTUS ranch, as the driver of Camera One — we will call him a ‘senior press advance representative’ — attempted to turn the van around on the narrow road and ended up stuck with the rear of the vehicle in the ditch. A swift rescue was carried out by the Secret Service; poolers in the van chose to remain put in order to stave off panic.” — Dan Eggen, The Washington Post

  • “Motorcade carrying POTUS and FLOTUS departs presidential ranch at approx. 5:55 p.m. Arrives at nearby Broken Spoke Ranch at 6:02 p.m. Pool settles into a very nice BBQ and beer meal under sunny skies and a light breeze. Tent and porta-john at our disposal.” — Eggen

  • “POTUS departs fundraiser via motorcade at 8:40 p.m. Arrives at presidential ranch at 8: 48 p.m. A ‘senior press advance representative’ again attempted a U-turn but this time was successful. Lid called at 8:50.” — Eggen

  • “POTUS and FLOTUS each took hold of a commemorative shovel. POTUS quipped that he was ‘getting ready to shovel,’ then he paused and added, ‘dirt.’ Some laughter from the assembled at this. They shoveled dirt onto the rootball of the replacement Scarlet Oak, which
    was about 20-25 feet tall. After hand shakes and introductions with the decendents of the 23rd U.S president, POTUS turned to the pool and said, ‘Thank you all. Pleasure shoveling in front of you.’” — Eric Rosenberg, Hearst Newspapers