WASHINGTON — The leader of the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics has been to the White House only once in history. That changes this week, and President Bush is pulling out all the stops: driving out to a suburban military base to meet Pope Benedict XVI’s plane, bringing a giant audience to the South Lawn and hosting a fancy East Room dinner.
**These are all firsts.
Bush has never before given a visiting leader the honor of picking him up at the airport. In fact, no president has done so at Andrews Air Force Base, the typical landing spot for modern leaders.