Usually, the spouses of vice presidents of the United States don’t attract much public attention. Many Americans probably can’t even name more than two or three second ladies, but that is just a guess. Yet Doug Emhoff is the husband of Kamala Harris, the first female African American, South Asian American Vice President of the United States. He’s becoming a household name and breaking down barriers as America’s first Second Gentleman as well as the first Jewish spouse of any vice president. Does that really matter, you might ask yourself? It shouldn’t, but it does. Let’s take a look at a clip from an interview taking social media by storm that gives us insight into his popularity:
So is he ‘just’ a father as well as a charming and supportive husband of a ‘Powerfrau,’ as we would say in German? Or will he play a real role in American life and politics? What can we expect of a man in the role of Second Gentleman?
Americans do not vote directly for their presidents. We vote for the people who will vote for our presidents. Each state is assigned electors, based partly on population, but each state is assigned an additional two electoral votes, regardless of its size. Consequently, a vote from a person in a rural state has more influence than a vote from an urbanized area. This system has given us five presidents who came in second in the people’s vote with mixed results. Three have made us question this system. With Rutherford Hayes, we got Jim Crow law that denied African Americans their civil rights for more than 100 years. With George W. Bush, we got the Iraq war. With Donald Trump, well, we got – Trump!
January 1, 2000. Not just a new century, but a new millennium. Spotless, for the briefest moment, though far from empty. Arriving so brimful of promise and hope. “What will it be like?” we wondered, staring almost child-like at the clock as it approached the new era. A brand-new, unopened, ready-to-use millennium! And this time, with all we’d learned over past millennia, we would get things right.