The red carpet arrival of Pope Francis came off without a hitch Tuesday at Joint Base Andrews, with President Barack Obama and his family meeting the pope and escorting him from his plane to cheers.
An excited crowd chanted "Yes we pope," "Ho ho, hey hey, welcome to the USA!" and other cheers before the pontiff descended from the plane. He was also greeted by children selected by the Vatican from the Washington, D.C., area with flowers and a military guard before heading to the visitor's lounge on the base. After a brief stay at the visitor's center, Obama then escorted the pope to his waiting motorcade, starting what will be a whirlwind of activities highlighted by his visit tomorrow at the White House with the president and Thursday's first-ever address by a pope to a joint session of Congress.
Francis and Obama will discuss a host of shared interests, including improving economic opportunity, alleviating poverty, the environment, religious freedom and immigration, per the White House. There are certainly hopes on the left that Francis' statements on climate change, immigration and income inequality will align and bolster the president's policies in those areas.
The list of greeters, per the White House pool, included Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama and Marian Robinson, the president's mother-in-law.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his wife Jill Biden, and their granddaughters, Maisy Biden and Finnegan Biden, were also present. Related: