Second gentleman Doug Emhoff talked candidly about masculinity in a new exclusive interview with CNN, detailing how he approaches his role in the administration – a position that had never before been held by a man – and how he wants to set an example for men who may follow him.
“I’ll be giving speeches and one of the things I say is ‘Men need to support women,’” Emhoff told CNN’s Dana Bash in a clip of an interview that aired Thursday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”
“One, it’s the right thing to do and then men, OK, you need to actually do it. Don’t just think you’re doing it. And then the women in the audience start looking around and smiling.”
Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, agreed with Bash that some men struggle to support their female partners in big moments of their careers, but he said, “You have to put your ego aside though, and it’s not about you.”
CNN will air Bash’s full interview, “Being…The Second Gentleman,” at 8 p.m. ET. on Saturday.
As his wife makes history as the first female vice president, Emhoff is adjusting to his own role in the administration. He spent most of his life until now as a Southern Californian, working at big-time law firms, first as managing director, then as partner, negotiating and navigating contracts and litigating on behalf of clients, many of whom were in the entertainment industry.
Emhoff, who has been married to Harris since 2014, was somewhat used to Washington’s machinations, mostly via Harris’ previous job as United States senator. But when she joined the presidential campaign, Emhoff truly got a taste of politics.
By Inauguration Day, Emhoff had severed ties completely with his law firm, not wanting to incur conflicts of interest. Giving up a home state, friends, family, even a career, is often the case for political spouses.