Brayden Harrington met Democratic nominee Joe Biden at a campaign event in February, where the unlikely duo exchanged stories about what it was like to grow up with a stutter.
On the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC), 13-year-old Brayden Harrington stole the show, CNN reports. In a moving speech about how he and the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden came "from the same club," the young man shared how he too had a stutter but was able to overcome it with the former vice-president's help. Harrington explained that in just a short time, Biden was able to restore his confidence and even showed him some tips about speaking in public (tips he was able to put to good use during his address!).
This year, the DNC was held virtually. The teenager spoke to an audience of thousands from his bedroom, where he had a Biden 2020 flag up on his wall. The unlikely duo had met back in February this year at a campaign event in New Hampshire. Biden asked Harrington to join him backstage, where they shared stories about stuttering with each other. "He told me that we were members of the same club: We stutter. It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became Vice President," the young boy said about the exchange. "He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today."
Biden had shown Harrington his own speech notes, in which he had made markings to note where he could take breaks between words. For the 13-year-old, this was more than just a simple tip—it was lifechanging. He affirmed, "I'm just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me feel more confident 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."
Indeed we are. This is not the first time that the Democratic nominee has opened up about his trouble with stuttering. At a CNN town hall in February, Biden told a deeply personal and reflective story about growing up with a stutter. "You know, stuttering, when you think about it, is the only handicap that people still laugh about," he said. "That (they) still humiliate people about. And they don't even mean to." While this is true, there is one person who has been unabashed of laughing about disabilities: none other than Biden's competition, incumbent President Donald Trump. Of course, no one can forget the infamous moment when Trump mocked a reporter with a disability while delivering an address at a campaign rally. Harrington's story is a compelling reason why Biden is the compassionate man we need in the White House before our democracy crumbles.