Clinton sends son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky to Iraq, Israel and North Korea
WASHINGTON -- President Hillary Rodham Clinton is sending her son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky, to U.S. military bases in Iraq, Israel and the Korean peninsula next week, where the former investment banker has volunteered to "do lighting" for a series of U.S.O shows starring pop star Katy Perry.
Mezvinsky, who dabbled in theater production during his undergraduate days at Stanford University, said he is paying for the trip himself.
"I've been a stay-at-home dad for almost two years now. I'm a little nervous to leave the house," Mezvinsky said in a rare interview with Time's Jay Newton-Small. Nonetheless, he said volunteered for the trip because he wanted to serve his country, "albeit in a humble capacity: Basically, I hope to lift the troops' spirits by ensuring Katy Perry is extremely well-lit!" he said.
Mezvinsky -- who graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in religious studies and philosophy in 2000, and later received an M.A. from Oxford University in politics, philosophy and economics in 2005 -- doesn't mind that he has, in his own words, "absolutely no role in shaping American foreign policy abroad."
"I'm not qualified to weigh in on complicated military and cultural conflicts like the Middle East. There are people - diplomats - who specialize in those areas and do it professionally. America needs them to conduct American foreign policy, not me!" he laughed.
Within hours of the announcement, Republicans were slamming Clinton on Twitter, calling Mezvinsky's desire to cheer up American troops: "a massive conflict of interest, #corrupt, probably #Islamic, and #unconstitutional usurpation of the U.S. State Department -- like all the other life-saving initiatives spearheaded by the Clinton Foundation. #benghazi"
"In college, before marrying Chelsea, Mezvinsky was in charge of lighting for shows like Avenue Q and Les Miserables," said White House Press Secretary Leslie Jones. "Once again, we expect Mezvinsky's contributions to America's foreign policy be limited to his demonstrated expertise: lighting."