July 27, 2021

‘Pure, unvarnished, courage’: A 13-year-old ‘regular kid’ with a stutter gave a must-watch Democratic convention speech

Twenty seconds into his speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Brayden Harrington started to stutter.

He knew he would — it was the reason the 13-year-old was addressing millions of viewers from his bedroom. As he had explained to kick off his speech, his life had changed after meeting former vice president Joe Biden in February.

“He told me that we were members of the same club. We … ” Brayden said, shutting his eyes as he drew out an “s” sound, willing the word to emerge: “… stutter.”

And then, he kept going — smiling, poised, and delivering a powerful message about how Biden, who has spoken openly of his battle with a speech impediment, had inspired him to reach higher.

On a night when Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination and a parade of notables offered their visions for America, Brayden’s two-minute speech may have had the most visceral impact. A video of his address shared on Twitter by the Democratic National Convention had been viewed more than 3 million times by early Friday.

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