(CNN) — Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will be the first man to fill the position starting in January.
Second gentleman. Second husband. Second type. It doesn’t matter what formal title he holds, but Emhoff, who is Jewish, makes history in his own right, a reflection of the nation’s changing political and gender norms.
CNN projected on Saturday that Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, making Harris the next vice president. Harris, a Democratic Senator from California, will make history as the first woman, the first black person, and the first person of South Asian descent to take office.
“I’m so proud of you,” Emhoff tweeted on Saturday, with a photo of him and Harris hugging.
So proud of you. ❤️❤️🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Orb1ISe0dU
— Doug Emhoff (@DouglasEmhoff) November 7, 2020
Who is Doug Emhoff?
Emhoff, a successful attorney, was a largely calm and supportive presence in the election campaign when Harris ran for president during the Democratic primary. Harris dropped out of elementary school in December 2019 and joined Biden as his running mate in August 2020.
Emhoff stepped out of the spotlight and was often seen backstage at Harris events wearing a T-shirt that read “Kamala.” But he is active on social media, and his followers call them #DougHive, modeled after the followers of Harris and #KHive.
Emhoff came to attention last year when he took the stage to protect Harris after a protester got close enough to grab his microphone.
Emhoff also defended Harris when Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, retweeted a racist lie that Harris is not African-American because his parents immigrated from Jamaica and India.
The Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff Story
Harris and Emhoff met after her best friend set them up on a blind date in 2013. Harris was then the attorney general of California. Emhoff was, at the time, divorced from Kerstin Emhoff, with whom he has two children: Cole and Ella.
Emhoff proposed to Harris in 2014 after a quick courtship. The couple were married in the Santa Barbara courthouse that same year in a ceremony officiated by Maya, Harris’s sister.
Harris wrote in Elle magazine in May 2019 that her stepchildren came up with the nickname “Momala” a few years after she and Emhoff married because they preferred the term “stepmother.”
“My family means everything to me. And I’ve had many titles throughout my career, and certainly ‘vice president’ will be great, but ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most, “said Harris in his first speech after Biden chose her to run with him for the White House.
– CNN’s Maeve Reston contributed to this report.
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