Doug Emhoff, the first “Second Gentleman” in the history of the United States


In a few days Doug Emhoff will be wearing a title that does not yet exist. When on Wednesday January 20 his wife, Kamala Harris, takes the oath of office and becomes vice-president of the United States, this fiftieth year old with a broad, bald forehead will become for the next four years the first “Second Gentleman” in the history of the country. .

Americans themselves have struggled to find the best name for this unprecedented title, which does not cover any particular function and which the president’s wives embody with more or less enthusiasm and presence according to their personality. The future “Sgotus” (Second Gentleman of the United States) will therefore have full latitude to inhabit his new role and, potentially, to reinvent it.

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This Californian lawyer, specialist in media, sports and entertainment law, suggested that he would use his “mandate” to defend access to justice for disadvantaged people and fight against food insecurity; willingly discreet, he was not more precise about his intentions.

The Second Ladies usually focus on promoting good works, organizing receptions and traveling the world alongside their husbands. The most recent, Karen Pence, a former teacher, shone with her discretion.

Modernity certificate

At 56 years old, Mr. Emhoff entered public life with a great deal of sympathy. The obvious complicity with his wife, his declarations of love on social networks, his choice to put an end to his career to devote himself to the political rise of his wife have earned him unanimous praise and a certificate of modernity, including understood by feminists, delighted to see a role reversal at the highest level.

Mr Emhoff left his Los Angeles law firm to shield the couple from any accusations of conflicts of interest. His future professional activities should come down to a few law courses at Georgetown University in Washington.

The couple also convey the image of a progressive and multicultural family, a reflection of a changing America. Born into a Jewish family in New York, Mr. Emhoff is divorced, father of two young adults with names inspired by black jazz artists: Cole (for John Coltrane) and Ella (for Ella Fitzgerald). Her children quickly adopted Mme Harris, of Jamaican-Indian descent, whom he married in 2014 a few months after a ” love at first sight “ during a meeting organized by a mutual friend; they call it Momala, a contraction of Mom and Kamala. Father and husband decidedly fulfilled,

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