Shepherd has landed

The Shepherd has landed.

Did you know the Pope’s jet is called the Shepherd One? I suppose the Vatican got the idea from Air Force One. There is something much more dignified about the name for the President’s plane than the white capped one’s. And more butch, too. Why not the Vatican One or Pontiff One or something like that? The Shepherd…? Nah. The Vato needs to get some new hires in PR.

Pope Benedict XVI (aka Joseph Retzinger) arrived aboard his lamely named jet in Washington D.C. Tuesday afternoon [Apr 15] to not as much hullabaloo as I thought. It seems that the preparations for the Papal visit had more interest in the District than his holy one’s actual stay. I suppose we were concerned it would interfere in our comings and goings (wink).

Pope Benedict arrives DC AP PhotoDig the Pope’s snazzy red shoes (not feeling the socks). How festive he looks. Of course, the Italians are known to be very stylish.

Wait. He’s not Italian, he’s Germanic or something. Well, I suppose being in Rome, and doing as the Romans, he simply cannot help but be influenced by local chic.

Who’s that on the left with the hot pink accessories? Is that his lady-in-waiting?

The Pontiff was greeted by a trio of Bushes, Dad, Mom and the engaged daughter (can never remember which is which, or even their names — ’cause I never think about them).

However, I do from time to time think about world leaders. Whenever I think of Popes and Presidents, the first recollection that pops up is the huge contingent of American media camped out to cover the previous Pontiff’s visit to Cuba to importune Fidel. Lo and behold, Monica Lewinsky blew, and the press could not get out of town fast enough to return to these shores to cover this major non event. My hero Dan was one of the first back (he had already bought his cigars).

Hopefully, nothing naughty will happen while this Pope is in America. He goes to New York next to address the UN. The shopping is great in Manhattan. Maybe he will pick up a new pair of shoes before winging his way back home.

Photograph: Associated Press

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