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'Best' DNC Speech Belongs to a Surprise Speaker

13-year-old Brayden Harrington, who has a stutter, is winning universal praise for his remarks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2020 9:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – One speech from Thursday night's Democratic National Convention is being called an example of "pure, unvarnished courage," a "must-watch," and even "the best speech" of the whole convention. No, those descriptors aren't for Joe Biden's speech (though he did receive applause across the board): They're for 13-year-old Brayden Harrington, a New Hampshire teen with a stutter who, though he can't vote, explained why Biden should go to the White House, per Politico. "Without Joe Biden, I wouldn't be talking to you today," Brayden said, recalling how he'd met Biden a few months ago in New Hampshire, and how Biden had told him "we were members of the same club: We stutter." (An in-depth Atlantic article by John Hendrickson earlier this year detailed Biden's own struggles with stuttering.)

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Brayden said the former VP gave him advice on how to work on lessening his stutter and praised Biden's empathy, noting, "I'm just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that's bothered me my whole life. Joe Biden cared. Imagine what he could do for all of us." Brayden won compliments from all circles, including from former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Dan Rather, and even Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. Hendrickson also lauds Brayden, writing, "Consider the emotional maturity it takes at Brayden's age to talk about his personal struggle—especially when that personal struggle is talking, when it's hard to talk at all, when it hurts to speak." As for Brayden, he told the Washington Post after his speech, "I feel very energetic right now. ... I have trouble talking and that just makes me feel way more happy to be able to talk to the people who have a stutter." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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