As the presidential election heats up, voters are getting more opportunities to get to know the candidates hoping to occupy the White House come January 2021. Many Americans are also as interested in getting to know them beyond just their personal politics. Are they good people? Do they have families and friends that love and respect them? Have they ever been investigated by the FBI? These are all pretty important things to know before entering the booth and changing the trajectory of American and international politics for better or for worse. And Senator Kamala Harris, the former attorney general of California, is making both political and pop culture headlines as Joe Biden's pick for vice president as he campaigns to win the White House in 2020.
Recently, Harris has made headlines for her career choices and for her love of all things Too $hort (perfectly reasonable, given that she's from Oakland), as she was originally a presidential candidate in her own right. Less publicized is Harris' personal life, which includes the wonderful family that she has with husband Douglas Emhoff. Here's everything we know about this potential future Second Gentleman.
Douglas Emhoff has already commented about Kamala's selection.
In fairly hilarious news, Jill Biden (that's Joe Biden's wife, of course) has already tweeted to Emhoff about the epic news, and he's responded enthusiastically:
Fans immediately began envisioning a world in which both spouses (First Lady and Second Husband, respectively) were running around enthusiastically supporting their partners.
And he's also tweeted this and put it on Instagram mere moments after the news broke:
This, on top of Harris's tweet, makes Emhoff and Harris the cutest political couple of 2020:
In case you missed it (and more on that below), Emhoff is already pretty beloved—his fans are called the "Doug Hive," and there's a hashtag (don't worry, Harris fans are the "K Hive," and they're excited too). He has absolutely been by Harris' side every step of the way, including at a recent Biden fundraiser:
A little bit of extra foreshadowing for you here as well, Emhoff endorsing Harris' endorsement of Biden for president:
(Ugh, to be a fly on the wall for that meeting.)
The point is, we're about to get a lot more of the supportive spouse as he joins his wife on the 2020 campaign trail, so here's a ton more information about who he is and why you should love him.
Douglas Emhoff is the proud father of two children.
Years before meeting Harris, Emhoff was married to a woman named Kerstin, and they had two children together: Cole (after jazz saxophonist John Coltrane) and Ella (after Ella Fitzgerald, of course). When Emhoff and Harris hit it off, the future attorney general was initially very wary of the idea of meeting his kids because she knew just how important they were to him.
"As a child of divorce, I knew how hard it could be when your parents start to date other people," she told ELLE in May. "And I was determined not to insert myself in their lives until Doug and I had established we were in this for the long haul. Children need consistency; I didn’t want to insert myself into their lives as a temporary fixture because I didn’t want to disappoint them. There’s nothing worse than disappointing a child."
Her fears of possibly disappointing Emhoff's kids proved unfounded, as Harris is now so close to Cole and Ella that they adorably refer to her as "Momala."
Douglas and Kamala were set up on a blind date.
Blind dates tend to get a bad reputation, but when they work, they really work—just ask Emhoff! He was first introduced to his wife by way of a blind date set up by the then-strangers' mutual friend, a PR consultant named Chrisette Hudlin. Emhoff was immediately smitten with Harris, and the feeling was mutual; the two later got hitched in a 2014 romantic courthouse ceremony presided by Harris' younger sister Maya, complete with the musical stylings of a cellist in the courtroom.
Douglas is an entertainment lawyer.
Even as a child, Emhoff knew that he wanted to be a lawyer, but it wasn't until the late nineties that he would venture into the world of entertainment law. He secured a job with boutique firm Belin Rawlings & Badal before opening his own Beverly Hills firm. Today, Emhoff works as a litigator and partner at DLA Piper Law Firm. Law makes him happy and keeps him busy, his successful career as a lawyer just another element of Emhoff's full life. "With all this other stuff that's happening in my life right now, it's great to have [my practice,] because it's something that I love and I'm good at," Emhoff said to The Hollywood Reporter.
He's currently on a leave of absence from his firm to support Harris.
In August, he announced he was taking a leave of absence from DLA Piper Law Firm to focus on getting Harris elected. It sounds like a lot, but Emhoff is up for the challenge. He told Marie Claire in October: "Imagine working from home with Kamala Harris, during a pandemic and all the other issues going on." He continued, "She just works hard, and she's relentless...It's just incredible how much she does. And I'm looking over and she's looking [back] and she goes, 'What are you doing, Dougie? You working?' And I say, 'Yep! Yes, honey.'"
This isn't the first time he's had her back. When Harris announced she was dropping out of the 2020 presidential race in December of last year, he was there. He recalled the headline-making decision to Marie Claire, saying, "She made that decision, and I would have supported whatever she decided. But I'm not her political adviser. I'm her husband. And so my role was to be there for her, to love her, to have her back, to talk it through, to help her."
Douglas has a real connection with the other members of the "Spouses of Presidential Candidates Club."
The game of politics can be especially nasty, complete with mudslinging and rumors in an attempt to tear down the competition. Personally, Emhoff prefers to keep things kosher on his end and is often hanging out with the spouses of Harris' competition; he chats family and politics with Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Mayor Pete, and takes debate week selfies with Elizabeth Warren and her husband Bruce Mann!
Douglas is somewhat of a celebrity himself.
Many people's first introduction to Emhoff was last year Back in June 2019, Harris attended the MoveOn's Big Ideas Forum in San Francisco. During her conversation with moderator Karine Jean-Pierre, a protestor from animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere jumped onstage and grabbed the mic from Harris, startling the senator and the entire audience. Fortunately, Emhoff and a few other men sprang into action almost as quickly and escorted the protestor offstage before he could do further damage.
Emhoff's valiant actions to protect his wife drew praise and, for lack of a better word, stanning all across the internet, with fans of Emhoff even calling themselves part of "Doug Hive." So yeah—he's kind of a big deal.