As 2020 (finally) comes to a end, we all want to know more about the people who will occupy the White House come January 2021. Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect who will be sworn into the White House on January 20 along with president-elect Joe Biden, has been open about her public life, including her time as attorney general and her positions on hot-button issues. But we know less about Harris' personal life—like the family she shares with her loving husband Douglas "Doug" Emhoff. Here's what we know about the future Second Gentleman.
Emhoff is over the moon about Harris' win.
In heartwarming news, Emhoff shared a photo of him and Harris celebrating her historic win:
A post shared by Doug Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) on Nov 7, 2020 at 9:18am PST
Celebrities from Reese Witherspoon to Kerry Washington commented on the post. 'Washington DC !! Let’s gooooooo," wrote Witherspoon while Washington wrote a sweet, "Love you both."
In case you missed it, 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 pumped too). He's been by Harris' side every step of the way, so here's more info about who he is and why people love him.
Emhoff is the proud father of two children.
A post shared by Doug Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) on May 19, 2019 at 7:11pm PDT
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."
A post shared by Kamala Harris (@kamalaharris) on May 12, 2019 at 4:13pm PDT
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."
Emhoff and Harris were set up on a blind date.
A post shared by Doug Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:52am PDT
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.
"He said something to the effect of ‘She’s really hot,’" Hudlin told Marie Claire of what he thought about Harris before they even started dating. “He was complimenting her, and at the same time he was admiring her, and I liked that."
Emhoff was immediately smitten with Harris, and the feeling was mutual. After almost a year of dating, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that they were engaged on March 27, 2014. Emhoff recalled the proposal to Now This Is Politics recalling, "And I just said, 'I want to spend the rest of my life with you.' She goes, 'Oh, ok, that's good. Do you want chicken or fish?'...And I got down on one knee. She looked at me and just started bawling."
A post shared by Doug Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) on Aug 22, 2020 at 6:31am PDT
The two later got hitched in August of that year in a romantic Santa Barbara courthouse ceremony presided by Harris' younger sister Maya, complete with the musical stylings of a cellist in the courtroom. They wrote their own vows, and broke a glass to recognize Emhoff's Jewish faith, and had her niece read the poem, "Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou.
Emhoff is an entertainment lawyer.
Even as a child growing up in Brooklyn and then Los Angeles for high school, 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.
According to the firm's site, his accomplishments range from "representing the rights holders of a famous animated character in copyright and trademark disputes," to defending a "prominent former NFL and Olympic athlete in a civil action brought by the SEC."
Emhoff is 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.'"
He's always 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."
Emhoff has a real connection with the other members of the "Spouses of Presidential Candidates Club."
A post shared by Doug Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) on Jul 25, 2019 at 4:20pm PDT
Politics can get 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 seen hanging out with the spouses of Harris' once-competition; he chatted family and politics with Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Mayor Pete, and took debate week selfies with Elizabeth Warren and her husband Bruce Mann.
A post shared by Doug Emhoff (@douglasemhoff) on Jul 30, 2019 at 10:13am PDT
Emhoff is somewhat of a celebrity himself.
Many people's first introduction to Emhoff was last year. Back in June 2019, Harris attended 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 audience. Fortunately, Emhoff and a few others sprang into action quickly and escorted the protestor offstage before he could do further damage.
Later that day he tweeted: "Thx for all the kind notes. We are good. I love @KamalaHarris and would do anything for her."
— Doug Emhoff (@DouglasEmhoff) June 2, 2019
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.
He even has his own hashtag where supporters on Twitter shared their best #DougHive moments. Check out some of our favorites below.
— 💛🐝 Madame Vice President ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍🌈 (@huylerinthehive) August 12, 2020
— Sister Night Says...Period. (@SisterNightSays) April 18, 2020
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