• Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Brayden Harrington: Joe Biden and the boy with the stutter

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Media captionBrayden Harrington: “Joe Biden made me more confident”

As Joe Biden formally became the Democratic presidential nominee, a 13-year-old boy from New Hampshire emerged as the virtual convention’s highlight.

Brayden Harrington delivered a speech urging people to vote for Mr Biden.

On the face of it, not particularly remarkable, but Brayden captured the imagination of many as he conveyed his message while having a stutter.

He revealed how he had been inspired by Mr Biden because the nominee, too, had a stutter.

In a video that has been viewed more than two million times, Brayden started his speech by saying: “Without Joe Biden, I will not be talking to you today.”

The pair met in New Hampshire a few months earlier when Mr Biden told Brayden that they were “members of the same club – we stutter”.

Image copyright Reuters

Brayden said he was amazed to see that someone similar to himself had become the vice-president of the United States.

He went on to say how Mr Biden had made him feel “confident” about his stutter, which he has lived with his whole life.

He closed his speech with a plea to US voters: “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.”

‘Speech of the night’

Veteran journalist and broadcaster, Dan Rather, described Brayden as “pure, unvarnished, courage”.

Former Arizona congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head while in office in 2011, tweeted how she could relate to Brayden.

“Speaking is hard for me too, Brayden,” she says. “But as you know, practice and purpose help. Thank you for your courage and for the great speech.”

In a Twitter thread, journalist Elie Mystal said her mother, who is a speech pathologist, was “coaching” him through his speech.

Journalist Philip Lewis called Brayden’s address the “speech of the night”.

And writer Meena Harris said that Mr Biden would be happy that Brayden “stole the show”.

Journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald echoed the sentiments of many when he tweeted: “I hope Brayden follows Twitter so he knows how proud of him the whole country is.”