Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

By Beatriz Pascual Macías I

United Nations, (EFE).- The President of the United States, Joe Biden, sometimes stutters. He does this very subtly, dragging out or repeating certain words, which went almost unnoticed in his magnificent speech before the UN General Assembly this Wednesday.

Biden, 79, has managed to almost completely overcome the stutter with great discipline. As a child, he practiced reciting poetry in front of a mirror to identify the facial expressions associated with stuttering, and now as president, he meticulously plans in advance what pauses he will use in each speech.

It’s a technique seen in the movie “The King’s Speech,” which is one of Biden’s favorites and which depicts the determination with which England’s King George VI battled a stutter to be able to give radio speeches, such as the crucial 1939 U.K. v. Germany. declared war.

US President Joseph Biden delivers his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. EFE/EPA/Jason Segens

The president, who two days earlier attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, daughter of George VI, made several very significant pauses during his grand speech before the United Nations, the second of his presidency and which had raised high expectations because of the war. Ukraine

In a speech that lasted nearly half an hour on the grand stage of world diplomacy, Biden denounced Russia’s desire to wipe Ukraine off the map and called on the world to act decisively to stop Russian aggression, which “blatantly” violates its founding principles. United Nations.

Although he has learned to manage his stutter, words betray Biden especially when he is tired, as he himself admitted during the 2020 presidential campaign.

US President Joseph Biden delivers his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. EFE/EPA/Justin Lane

His rival, Republican Donald Trump, poked fun at Biden’s stutter; But the Democrat ignored that and instead of cowering, attacked his opponent as a “thug.”

Biden gave several speeches to young people who stutter, and during the campaign, he befriended Brayden Harrington, a 12-year-old with a speech impediment, whom he met at a New Hampshire state event and who a few months later was the guest of honor at the Democratic National Convention. .

“Joe Biden made me feel certain about something that has bothered me my whole life,” the little boy said in one of the convention’s most moving speeches.

In his nearly half-century political career, Biden has rarely spoken about his past stuttering, and whenever he does, it’s to inspire others.

US President Joseph Biden delivers his speech during the UN General Assembly EFE/EPA/Jason Szenes

That speech disorder, as he himself admitted, defined his character. As his sister Valerie told the Los Angeles Times in 2019, stuttering and overcoming it has made Biden more empathetic, able to feel more compassion for others when they are struggling with something.

In the United States, approximately three million Americans suffer from varying degrees of stuttering, which is defined by the involuntary repetition of words, syllables, or sounds.

Besides Biden, other leaders and celebrities have suffered from speech disorders throughout history. Examples include former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had difficulty pronouncing the letter ‘s’, or actress Marilyn Monroe, whose famous breathy voice was the result of her efforts to overcome her stutter.

Web version: Juanque Ochoa

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