The Second Mister: Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ spouse Doug Emhoff prepares for move to the White House

by Sherri Kolade

We know her name and face, but what comes to mind at the mention of Doug Emhoff?

He is the husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Emhoff, 56, is making big plans to leave his private law practice by Inauguration Day to focus on White House responsibilities, according to an article from the Associated Press. Emhoff’s decision to leave DLA Piper also avoids any possible appearance of conflicts of interest, the article states, as the firm has a lobbying presence in Washington. 

Emhoff is the first man to hold the title of the vice-presidential spouse, with Harris being the nation’s first female vice president and first in many other things, too. His decision to leave his high-profile job goes along with choices female political spouses, and women, especially Black women, have made for years. He hasn’t yet discussed what issues he’ll take on, Kathleen Ronayne reports in the article.

“We’ve been waiting for this sort of gender switch for decades now,” said Kim Nalder, a professor of political science who has focused on women and gender at California State University-Sacramento, in AP. She added, “There is a lot of symbolism from a man stepping back from his high-powered career in order to support his wife’s career.”

Emhoff’s social media pages are full of images of him and his now prominent family, including him on the campaign trail giving a speech, bonding family moments, and hugging Harris to celebrate her win.

So proud of you,” he captioned in a tender embrace with his wife captured on camera.

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