"I think that their bond is about that they can genuinely like each other and have that friendship and can do it together," Harris told PEOPLE

By Adam Carlson
August 28, 2020 12:30 AM
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Maybe the only people who know what it's like to be on the presidential campaign trail, other than the candidates themselves, are their spouses — which helps explain how Joe Biden's wife and Kamala Harris' husband "already were buddies" even before joining the Democratic ticket.

"They have a real bond and that's also very special," Harris told PEOPLE recently, in her first joint interview with Biden since being named his running mate.

In that conversation, via Zoom only days after the former vice president chose the California senator, the pair discussed the shared values that bond them and how they'll work together in the Oval Office even when they may disagree.

The day after the Aug. 11 Zoom call where Biden offered her a history-making spot on the ticket, Harris and Emhoff drove up to Wilmington, Delaware.

"One of the first stops was to visit with the vice president and Jill at their home, and we just hung out [with] homemade chocolate-chip cookies and just caught up," Harris said. (Family photos were pulled out, she says, adding: "Then Joe called my in-laws, Barb and Mike, and we surprised them.")

Speaking with PEOPLE, Biden and Harris also talked about the quick ways in which the new foursome — Biden and wife Dr. Jill Biden, a community-college professor and the former second lady; and Harris and attorney Doug Emhoff, whom she married in 2014 after being set up by her best friend — had already clicked.

Dr. Biden and Emhoff have also been trading supportive social media messages — the de rigueur show of easy camaraderie.

From left: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Doug Emhoff and former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden photographed for PEOPLE on Aug. 15 outside Wilmington, Delaware.
Gioncarlo Valentine
From left: former Vice President Joe Biden, former Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Doug Emhoff and Sen. Kamala Harris photographed for PEOPLE on Aug. 15 outside Wilmington, Delaware.
Gioncarlo Valentine

"To be the spouse of a candidate, that's tough duty," Harris, 55, told PEOPLE. "I think that their bond is about that they can genuinely like each other and have that friendship and can do it together."

The former vice president, 77, agreed: "Doug and Jill already were buddies, for real."

"Yeah, they were," Harris said. "They were on the trail together. So what ends up happening is that the candidate spouses, they take to the road on their own and go to various places that we can't be. So Doug and Jill did the gay pride parade together in Las Vegas. They've done presentations together, and they sit next to each other at debates."

Biden chimed in: "During the debates, we'd be going at each other — they're just laughing."

"Right, sitting there laughing," Harris continued. "We're looking down like, 'How'd I do?' And they're just chatting with each other."