Watch Michael Stipe Eloquently Introduce Bernie Sanders in Brooklyn

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The New York primaries aren’t until April 19, but the state has already transformed into a battleground, especially on the Democratic side. We have Hillary Clinton traveling from church to church in the city while Bill does the same. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is appealing to his young base in Brooklyn, appearing in Greenpoint and, most recently, in Coney Island. It was there that he was eloquently introduced by Michael Stipe.

Key to the success of Stipe’s speech is his ability to make it seem like he’s been a big supporter of Bernie’s for more than a decade, beginning around September 11 when Bernie voted against the Patriot Act and the war. This is a speech familiar to Stipe, seeing as he made it before, in private, for Rolling Stone. But still, it holds water and manages effectiveness squarely because of Stipe’s familiarity with Bernie, rather than a the typical celebrity testimonials that do little more than retread the rhetoric of candidates.

Stipe has been making the rounds in NYC lately, though mostly paying beautiful tribute to David Bowie. At any rate, he’s certainly approaching his post-R.E.M. days as elder statesman with a suitable amount of verve.

Watch the clip below.