#3

Joe Biden has the potential of becoming the next Vice President of the US. Although even up here in Canada people are watching this election very closely, I’m not really into politics (I do vote and I’m greatful to our vetrans for the right, I’m just tired of all the media hoopla and mud sligning).

Finding out that Joe Biden is a stutterer certainly got my attention!

Actually, Mr. Biden used to stutter as a kid and teenager. I found out about this on the Stuttering Chat mailing list where someone mentioned that Joe Biden was a keynote speaker at a National Stuttering Association convention a few years ago. in his speech, he shared his personal experiences with stuttering.

I don’t know what ‘used to’ means exactly. Maybe he hides it well or is a master at his spech tools. Or maybe he actually did outgrow his stutter (is that even possible?).  I think it’s an interesting addition to what everyone is referring this election as historic. A black man and a woman (Hillary Clinton) were racing against each other. Both a first. Now there’s a stutter (former?) in the mix 🙂

The media, such as NPR, the New York Times and the BBC, is already talking about Joe Biden’s stuttering. From around the web, I learned that as a stutterer, Joe, would memorize the pages of his books before reading them aloud in front of the class (that would have never, ever worked for me!). Part of his regular pratice was reciting long poems in front of the mirror.

In college, Joe Biden regularly practiced his speech with a fellow stutterer.

Also of interest is the speculation among my mailing list members that Barack Obama also stutters. Wouldn’t that be quite the twist? Leaders of the US (well, the rest of the free world as well, I guess) are stutterers. True, we won’t hear them stutter, but still. Baby steps, I always say.

I haven’t seen a video of Obama’s announcement but I read that he mentioned Biden’s stutter and stuttering nickname as a kid. Yup, all this puts stuttering into the lime light. I hope.

That happened in the UK when Gareth Gates, a severe stammerer (as the Brits call it) won Pop Idol. I have a friend who went to school in England during that time and he told me that whenever he revealed that he stuttered, he was an instant celebrity.