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Doug Emhoff, Husband of Democratic Candidate Kamala Harris, on Changing ‘Gendered Perceptions of the First Female President’


Doug Emhoff, the husband of 2020 Democratic candidate Kamala Harris, isn’t just the ideal Instagram husband. Emhoff, active on the campaign trail, is often right by Kamala’s side, doing everything he can to help her get elected. Emhoff, a successful litigator in D.C. and California, has put his career on hold to focus on his wife and is ready to take on the role as the nation’s first “First Gentleman.”

We chatted with the self described “dad, @kamalaharris hubby/stan, lawyer, wannabe golfer” about how life on the campaign trail has changed his life, and what life in the Harris Administration would look like for him. 

1. Given that all presidents thus far have been male, how do you see the role of First Man in the Harris Administration?

I think that role would look much like it does in other administrations–focused on amplifying and supporting the efforts of the Harris Administration while also tackling gendered perceptions of the first female president.

2. Many First Ladies have had robust initiatives while their husbands were president. What are the policies that you would like to work on in that role?

Right now, I’m completely focused on getting Kamala elected as the Democratic nominee, and then to beat Donald Trump next November. But down the line, I would love to continue with my passion for enhancing access to justice, especially for lower-income families and kids.

3. How has life on the campaign trail changed your life?

I’m doing everything I can to help Kamala with the campaign–whether on Twitter, attending events, or rallying the team behind the scenes–all while keeping up with my full-time day gig as a lawyer. I’m also focused on keeping our relationship and family first. Date night definitely looks a little different these days, but we are still trying to maintain our ‘coupledom’ by enjoying whatever time we have together, even if it’s on the trail, and always with a sense of humor.

4. You shot to "viral" fame this summer when you jumped on stage to protect your wife from an animal rights protester at a MoveOn Forum. What was going through your head, and why did you jump into action?

My instincts kicked in at that moment, and I just wanted to ensure Kamala was safe. I can’t say I planned to go viral because of it, but it’s safe to say my kids will never let me live that one down.

5. You have a twitter hashtag, #Doughive. How does it feel to have your own cult fandom?

It’s great to see so much support for Kamala’s campaign. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the #KHive while on the road, taking pictures and hearing from them on the issues that matter. It’s very clear that something special is happening at the grassroots level for Kamala, and it’s a thrill to play a small part to support her and this community.

6. Your support of your wife is being celebrated. Do you think that this is an appropriate response or should we be asking why more men don't find it the norm?

I love Kamala and would do anything for her. Our relationship has always been about supporting each other, and that should be the norm for all partners, regardless of gender. I hope that as more and more women run for office and take leadership positions in government and business, their partners rise to the occasion and support them wholeheartedly.


Mara Freedman runs a social media agency, Storyd Media, and is proud to be a part of The Sunday Paper.

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