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Doug Emhoff to become the first Second Gentleman: what his position signifies to the country

Posted at 4:08 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 07:47:19-05

Before there was “Build Back Better,” future Vice President, Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff have been building a life together as husband and wife. 23ABC political analyst and CSUB professor, Dr. Jeanine Kraybill said that Emhoff has expressed his intentions to continue to be that support system to his wife while she’s in office. For the American people, she explained, it will set a multitude of examples.

"He is trying to model what a modern day blended family can look like and be like, and I think he's setting a great example for young men and women, particularly men across the board, to be a support system to their spouses and partners," Dr. Kraybill said.

By the numbers, Dr. Kraybill added, women and especially women of color have faced particular economic hardships during the pandemic, making Emhoff's supportive role to his wife, the first female, woman of color Vice President, a huge force.

Plus, Emhoff's Jewish background, Dr. Kraybill said, signifies to the American people all faith and non-faith traditions are significant in our country.

"It adds to that rich fabric of the United States, that the Biden Administration is making a point to highlight," Dr. Kraybill said.

His new role comes at a key time, she said, as the Jewish community have experienced various hate crimes over the last few years.

Dr. Kraybill pointed out that Emhoff is one to watch in his own right. He has been a prominent entertainment lawyer, although taking a hiatus from his work as a partner at global law firm, DLA Piper, and joining the ranks of Georgetown as a law professor.

While Emhoff has not announced his Second Gentleman platform in detail, Dr. Kraybill said that he has already expressed his interests in advocating for equal justice. it's in line with Kamala Harris' platform on the campaign trail to address the disproportionate number of people of color and white people incarcerated and facing the death penalty.

"He knows these are things that are near and dear to her,” Dr. Kraybill said. “You don't necessarily see the spouse of a politician doing something that doesn't align with the values of what they said they would run on."