Doug Emhoff, a 56-year-old entertainment attorney, married Kamala Harris in 2014

By Virginia Chamlee
December 04, 2020 11:57 AM
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With Kamala Harris poised to make history as the first female vice president, her forthcoming tenure poses an interesting question: How will her husband officially be addressed?

During a wide-ranging interview with Harris, President-elect Joe Biden, and CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday, the vice president-elect, 56, was asked of her husband Doug Emhoff, "Is he the second gentleman, is [he] the second dude?"

Tapper further asked, "What should we be calling him?" Previous spouses of the vice presidents have all been women and were referenced as second lady.

"Well, I think that the term has evolved into the 'second gentleman,' " Harris replied, laughing.

"I like second dude, but I will defer," Tapper said.

"I think some of his friends are inclined to say that [as well,]" Harris noted.

"But you'll call him the second gentleman?" Tapper asked.

"No, I'll call him honey," Harris laughed.

From left: Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff in Wilmington, Delaware, in August
| Credit: Adam Schultz/Biden for President

Emhoff, 56, was a fixture on the campaign trail — both during Harris' own run for president and after she joined the Biden ticket.

The entertainment attorney, who will reportedly be leaving the California firm where he worked before the inauguration, took on the role of candidate's spouse with ease. And if recent comments are any indication, being the "second gentleman" won't be much different for Emhoff.

During a virtual Q&A with Fatherly last month — filmed days before the election — Emhoff expressed his excitement at the prospect of being married to the first female vice president.

When a nine-year-old viewer asked what he would do if Biden and Harris won, Emhoff responded: "Well first, I'd say, 'Yay!' "

"And then I'm just gonna do what I always do ... I'm going to support her because it's really important for men and even young boys to support the strong and wonderful women in their life, and I'm going to do that, and I hope you do that, too," he continued.

That support won't include any professional advisement, however. In a Zoom interview with PEOPLE in October, Emhoff said he was strictly Harris' spouse.

"I'm her husband, that's it," he said. "She's got plenty of great people giving her political advice. I'm her partner, I'm her best friend and I'm her husband. And that's what I'm here for. I'm here to have her back."

Emhoff and Harris married in August 2014 after meeting on a blind date the year prior, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He has two kids — Cole and Ella — from a previous marriage. They both refer to Harris as "Momala."

"My children don’t call me stepmom, they call me Momala. We’re a very modern family," Harris told PEOPLE in an interview given shortly after she was announced as the VP nominee. "Their mom is a close friend of mine. ... Joe and I have a similar feeling that really is how we approach leadership: family in every version that it comes."

Harris and Biden will be sworn in on Jan. 20.