Efforts to help the wife of the US Second Husband

During the 2019 rally, when protesters ran onto the stage to snatch the microphone from Kamala Harris, Doug Emhoff quickly rushed to his wife’s defense.

This 24-second appearance appears to be the first time the American public has noticed Doug Emhoff, husband of the Vice President. Kamala Harris. When she became the first female vice president of the United States, he also became the first second husband in the history of the country.

In this role, Emhoff last year visited rural Wyoming, praising national parks. He also accompanied US First Lady Jill Biden to Wisconsin to meet with victims of the November Christmas parade crash, representing the US at the Tokyo Paralympics and traveling around the country to encourage People vaccinated against Covid-19.

Attempts to reach constituencies where Ms. Harris can be more difficult to engage are thought to be the traditional role for a politician’s spouse. However, commentator Cleve Wootson of Washington Post argues that Emhoff’s role still has its differences, especially during the first five terms that were not so smooth for his wife.

US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff at a campaign rally in Wilmington, Delaware, in August 2020.  Photo: Reuters.

US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff at a campaign rally in Wilmington, Delaware, in August 2020. Photo: Reuters.

According to sources close to Emhoff, the second husband is playing an important and tactical role, helping Ms. Harris cope with a series of dilemmas. She received criticism when she struggled to handle the difficult tasks that the President Joe Biden mandates such as the wave of migration and the right to vote. The US media also published many information describing the working environment in her office as “chaotic”.

While acknowledging Harris’s shortcomings, which allies of the US Vice President say some of the criticism stems from racism and sexism, the White House seems to feel that it is openly speaking out about it. This is of no benefit.

“Imagine your wife being attacked, scrutinized, criticized for her body shape, demeanor, laughter, everything, and you can’t publicly comment on anything related,” Connie Schultz, wife by Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, said. “Imagine having to keep it all to yourself, worse than trying to keep your wife from noticing it.”

Emhoff, a famous lawyer in the field of entertainment law, used to be a single father with two children. In 2014, a year after he met Harris, the two married in Santa Barbara, California. Despite the political pressures when Harris served as California’s attorney general, then a senator, observers described the couple as very harmonious and happy.

In public comments and among White House staffers, Emhoff strives to demonstrate a supportive role for his wife, even fighting for feminism.

“I realize now that men need to act and be part of the solution, instead of continuing to cause problems. I will do everything I can in this role to continue to send the message that men are men. need to support women,” Emhoff said during the Gender Equality Listening Session in Paris, accompanying Harris on a visit to France last month.

When Harris became Biden’s “deputy general” during the 2020 presidential campaign, Emhoff put aside a career at the international law firm DLA Piper that made him a millionaire, because of concerns about conflicts of interest.. After the election, Emhoff began teaching law at Georgetown University in Washington.

As the first Jewish spouse of a U.S. president or vice president, Emhoff also helps appeal to the Jewish community, a constituency that Democrats and the Biden administration have struggled to maintain. support Harris’s political desires. He attended the traditional Jewish festival of Passover and Hanukkah lights held at the White House, and visited synagogues.

Some Jewish leaders say Emhoff’s outreach efforts are more than symbolic. In November, the second husband spoke with the American Jewish Democratic Council for an hour about domestic and foreign policy, said Halie Soifer, the group’s executive director.

“Clearly he will continue to develop his role as a bridge between the government and the Jewish community. A lot of people in the community support this administration, not least because they have a Jewish First Second Husband who is a Jew. , which he really helps connect,” Soifer said.

According to commentator Wootson, Emhoff seems to have become an expert at using the image of a “political heathen” cheerfully taking on a new role to effectively support Harris, as well as the Biden administration. In public speeches and comments, Emhoff emphasized that he was new to politics and was trying to get acquainted.

“I’ve heard Emhoff make it very clear that he sees part of his role as showing the world Mrs. Harris’s beauty, strength and wisdom. That’s what he did on the campaign trail. tri. I think this is also the prominent role the Second Husband has played since the Biden administration ran the country,” said Sharon Brous, rabbi who presided over the Passover ceremony at the White House in March.

Luster (Follow Washington Post)

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