No-one knew of 13-year-old Brayden Harrington except his family and friends until the virtual Democratic National Convention on Thursday that saw Joe Biden officially nominated as the party’s presidential candidate for the November election.
Brayden Harrington, who is from New Hampshire, New England, has a verbal stutter and shared a story about meeting Joe Biden and learning that “we were members of the same club”.
Biden himself has had a stutter since childhood and his stutter was the subject of a profile in The Atlantic in January this year after Biden was mocked during the presidential nominee debates – Biden called himself a “gaffe machine” – as being old and not totally in control of his faculties.
“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,” Brayden Harrington said.
“It was really amazing to hear that someone like me became vice president. He told me about a book of poems by Yates 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.”
Joe Biden invited 12-year-old Brayden Harrington backstage Tuesday in Concord to talk about his stutter, and showed him how he marks up speeches.
“He was basically showing him a strategy. He normalized it,” Brayden's father Owen said.
— Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) February 6, 2020
Cleary 13-year-old Brayden Harrington had help writing the speech but it, and there were other examples, illustrated the empathy Biden has with people, in stark contrast to the bombastic style of his opponent, US President Donald Trump.