The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“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 jm­c­caslin@wash­ing­ton­

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