A 13-year-old boy from New Hampshire captured the attention at the Democratic National Convention where former vice-president Joe Biden accepted his nomination for the US presidency.
Brayden Harrington explained how Biden, who had a childhood stutter, gave him more confidence to overcome something that’s always bothered him. “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,” Brayden said Thursday night in the video recorded for the convention. Now, the speech has left people on the internet inspired, as his video has taken social media by storm.
“He showed me how he marks his addresses to make them easier to say out loud. So I did the same thing today,” the high-school student said, flipping around the piece of paper he was reading to show the markings on his speech. “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,” he continued.
According to CNN, he first met Biden in February at a campaign event in New Hampshire. After they first spoke on the rope line, the politician had invited Brayden backstage to continue their conversation about stuttering and told him about how he has worked to overcome his own stutter.
Watch the video here:
Harrington’s address moved many online and many dubbed it as the most powerful thing of the evening, while others were inspired to share their own experiences with speech while battling stuttering and public speaking. Hashtag #BraydenHarrington started to trend on Twitter and many highlighted how ‘brave’ it was and overcoming the difficulty on national television must have been very scary but applauding him for acing it.
Here’s how people reacted to his inclusion in the DNC.
Very proud of Brayden Harrington speaking tonight.
I spent Kindergarten through 7th grade going to speech therapy classes in order to overcome my stammer/stutter.
I’ve been giving public lectures for over 30 years.
— John E.L. Tenney (@JohnELTenney) August 21, 2020
As someone who grew up with a bit of a stutter (that still affects me when I say my own last name today!), I really appreciate this segment on Biden and Braden and stuttering. ♥️ #DemConvention
— John Buysse (@JohnBuysse) August 21, 2020
One of my kids is a stutterer. No matter how much courage you think Brayden Harrington’s talk just now took, believe me, it’s way more. God bless that kid, and God bless Joe Biden for giving him hope, and a chance to speak. [Retweeted this to fix typo]
— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) August 21, 2020
I have a stutter, was way worse as a kid. I can’t even imagine trying to give a speech in front of national audience at that age. It was amazing
— Ryan Deto (@RyanDeto) August 21, 2020
— (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) August 21, 2020
My Grandpa stuttered so badly he rarely spoke. My cousin stuttered so badly that freshman year in college he took his own life. #BraydenHarrington I’m so proud of you buddy! You’re doing amazing and never think you’re anything other than AWESOME!!!🏆
— capt jen mellow #masking (@captainmellow1) August 21, 2020
This kid has more personal strength than our President. Let that sink in.
— thesingleplayerguy (@singleplayerguy) August 21, 2020
#BraydenHarrington made me cry happy tears…so inspiring, I am in awe!!
— Ali erstwhile (@artrocksme) August 21, 2020
As someone who stutters, I never imagined I might see something like that in a culture that has dismissed an impairment as a funny pratfall. What a brave kid. I wasn’t that brave. #DemocraticConvention
— Charles McNulty (@CharlesMcNulty) August 21, 2020
I want to say this to Brayden Harrington (the precious young man with a stutter):
Young, Sir: You humble me. I am in TOTAL AWE of your courage. You have a titanic spirit and unshakeable will. You made the worst bully look pathetic, ridiculous and so very small. I salute you.
— Pam Keith (@PamKeithFL) August 21, 2020
My son had a stutter when he was much younger. It lasted for a year and then disappeared as quickly as it came. I remember it vividly. Brayden shows such courage and determination in his speech – just brilliant! #BraydenHarrington
— Kathi (@KathiScarlett63) August 21, 2020
We paused the broadcast to call our 14 year old son who stutters to watch with us. We’re so completely moved by #BraydenHarrington and thrilled that he brought attention and awareness to the stuttering community @sayorg
— Catherine Terizis (@ctflute) August 21, 2020
I know Joe Biden is an old white guy like most presidents, but I don’t think I appreciated until just now what it would mean to kids like Brayden Harrington who have a stutter to see someone like them become president—and beat a mean, schoolyard bully.
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) August 21, 2020
Trump mocks disability. Biden encourages a young man with a stutter like he had. The difference could not be starker. An indecent, immoral, schlockmeister versus a decent, moral, compassionate man. As for young #BraydenHarrington the world is your oyster! pic.twitter.com/JBJaIB7Zxo
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) August 21, 2020
Brayden Harrington. Remember that name. Pass me the tissues please.
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) August 21, 2020
No matter your political affiliation, I hope you can appreciate this post. Our kids struggle in their own ways to communicate daily.
This gives me hope. https://t.co/mGy0ZnG1qS#DemConvention #speechtherapy #stuttering #braydenharrington #JoeBiden
— Ms. Kpana (@AutisticSeas) August 21, 2020
Biden, 77, accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, beginning a general-election challenge to President Donald Trump that Democrats have cast as a rescue mission for a country equally besieged by a crippling pandemic and a White House defined by incompetence, racism and abuse of power.