Aug 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

13-year-old Brayden Harrington shares advice Biden gave to help him with stutter

Brayden Harrington, a 13-year-old from New Hampshire who struggles with a verbal stutter, addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday and shared a story about meeting Joe Biden and learning that "we were members of the same club."

Why it matters: Biden's boyhood stutter was the subject of a profile in The Atlantic earlier this year, following a series of verbal miscues during the primary debates. Biden's outreach to Harrington, who said the Democratic nominee "made me feel better about something that's bothered me my whole life," is one of a number of anecdotes told during the DNC that sought to underscore empathy as one of Biden's strongest traits.

What he's saying: "Without Joe Biden, I would not be talking to you today. About a few months ago, I met him in New Hampshire. He told me we were members of the same club. We stutter," Harrington said.

  • "It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president. He told me about a book of poems by Yeats he would read out loud to practice. He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today."
  • "And now I'm here talking to you today about the future about the future — about our future. ... We all want the world to feel better. We need the world to feel better. I'm just a regular kid. In a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel better about something that's bothered me my whole life."
  • "Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us. Kids like me are counting on you to elect someone we can all look up to. Someone who cares. Someone who will make our country and the world feel better. We're counting on you to elect Joe Biden." 
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