Jan. 17. Lara Trump used a Republican women’s forum to mock Joe Biden for stuttering, proving yet again that the Trump family has no class.

Joe Biden has many, many flaws, but his (largely successful) battle against stuttering is actually evidence of character.

We’ve all seen Biden appear confused or misremember things. Those of us with long memories know he sometimes just makes things up or even steals other people’s life stories. Plenty of times, though, when critics are questioning his mental capacity at age 77, what they are mocking isn’t mental weakness but vestiges of Biden’s stutter.

I saw this several times in the Jan. 14 debate. Biden seemed to stumble in some of his answers. I could easily tell the difference, though, between mental fogginess and a vestigial stutter. I know, because I grew up with one of the worst stutters imaginable, and I know the tell-tale signs.

At age 11, I could barely answer the phone. I had trouble with the letter “h,” so I couldn’t say “hello.” I solved that one, partially, by answering with something between “ellow” and just “low” — a barely vocalized short “e” sound followed by the “l.” In person, I couldn’t get two sentences out in a row without being completely blocked, meaning not that I repeated consonant sounds, but that I couldn’t even get any sound out at all as I squirmed and looked at the floor and bounced my head oddly as I tried to get restarted. When my fourth grade class put on a play, the teacher had me play the family dog, on all fours, so that I wouldn’t need to say anything.

There’s no need for any more details. The point is, I can spot a stutterer, and I can tell a stutter from a cognitive lapse. Biden’s problem was a stutter, which some of the world’s smartest people have dealt with; my internal dilemma was whether I should write a column like this in response….

[The rest of the column is here.]


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