“He was just so cute, so adorable,” recalls Wilmington, Del., native Elaine Manarin, a language arts and math resources teacher at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Lower School in Alexandria, Va., who reveals her childhood “crush” on Windybush Swim Club lifeguard Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
“Every other girl at the pool had a crush on him, too,” she adds.
“It was a local little swim club. He was in high school, and I was two years younger — I was Elaine Smith in those days,” Mrs. Manarin tells Inside the Beltway, referring to the Delaware Democrat who was tapped this past weekend to be the vice-presidential running mate of Sen. Barack Obama.
“He was so friendly to everybody, adults and children alike. He always had a huge smile on his face and a little gleam in his eye — he still has it; I can see it on television,” she notes. “I was the person who checked the members’ club passes when they came in, and he was the tanned lifeguard. And I had a crush on him, but he didn’t know that.
“We would get off work at the same time, and sometimes he would give me a ride to my house. One night it was really cold and he lent me his jacket, and don’t print this, or I will kill you, but I actually stuck the jacket under my pillow that night.”
A few years later, she and Valerie Biden, the senator’s sister, were attending the University of Delaware, and Mrs. Manarin recalls bumping into the young Mr. Biden.
“And I will never forget this,” she says. “During our conversation he made the point of saying that, ‘One day I want to be the president of the United States.’ ”
John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or firstname.lastname@example.org