What Joe Biden Can't Bring Himself To Say

A stutter does not get worse as a person ages, but trying to keep it at bay can take immense physical and mental energy. Biden talks all day to audiences both small and large. In addition to periodically stuttering or blocking on certain sounds, he appears to intentionally not stutter by switching to an alternative word-a technique called ‘circumlocution’-which can yield mangled syntax. I’ve been following practically everything he’s said for months now, and sometimes what is quickly characterized as a memory lapse is indeed a stutter. As Eric Jackson, the speech pathologist, pointed out to me, during a town hall in August Biden briefly blocked on Obama, before quickly subbing in my boss. The headlines after the event? ‘Biden Forgets Obama’s Name.’ Other times when Biden fudges a detail or loses his train of thought, it seems unrelated to stuttering, like he’s just making a mistake. The kind of mistake other candidates make too, though less frequently than he does.

What Joe Biden Can’t Bring Himself To Say, John Hendrickson in The Atlantic