‘I would have said, “There’s no way”‘

Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff

Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith Doug Emhof

Doug Emhof opens with his historic role as America’s second gentleman and as the first Jewish wife of a president or vice president.

Talk to Politics in a profile posted Friday, Emhoff, 57, married to Vice President Kamala Harris – told the outlet that his faith played a surprisingly large role in his duties as Second Gentleman.

“I went there anticipating, ‘Who’s going to care that I’m Jewish?’ ” he said. “I didn’t expect to feel the way I felt about being in this role.”

Indeed, Emhoff’s Jewish faith has played a big part in his public life since his wife came to power.

Last April, he celebrated Passover at the Virtual National Rainbow Seder with LGBTQ people.

Then, in November, he lit the first candle in the national Menorah lighting ceremony to celebrate the start of Hanukkah, using his speech to tout the need to fight intolerance and hatred against Jewish communities.

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Doug Emhoff

Doug Emhoff

Ron Sachs/UPI/Shutterstock Doug Emhof

“We know the freedom that my family members and American Jews everywhere yearn for and defend, the freedom that our nation promises to all who live and revere here, that freedom has sometimes been undermined by hatred, he said then. Emhoff. . “As my wife, Vice President, Kamala Harris would say, we need to speak the truth about this. We need to speak the truth about this epidemic of hate. American Jews and Jews around the world have experienced and continue to to suffer hostility, discrimination and violence.”

That same evening, Emhoff and Harris lit a menorah at their home at Number One Observatory Circle in Washington, later post a photo of the moment on Twitter.

Talk to Politics this week, however, Emhoff said he had never been more religious growing up. It was only later in his life that he realized his faith was unique. “As a Hollywood entertainment lawyer, you’re like, ‘Wow, wait, isn’t everyone Jewish?’ ” he said.

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Talk to WEATHER in November, Emhoff said life “changed in the blink of an eye, with no time to breathe or think,” when Harris was cast as Joe Bidenrunning mate at the end of summer 2020.

“I do things that I probably wouldn’t have done,” Emhoff told TIME — which, it seems, uniquely includes celebrating his legacy: revisit the temple of his childhood, preparation for the Passover Seder and make matzo with Jewish students, as he did on Wednesday.

“Some of that stuff is really fun, yeah,” Emhoff said. Politics. “But some of this stuff is serious. I’ve been to 35 weird states. I’ve been to two countries. I’m someone who by nature will raise my hand and work hard.”

And as he left his more than three-decade career as an entertainment lawyer to join his wife in Washington, DC, Emhoff has forged a new identity for himself.

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images From left to right: Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Vice President Kamala Harris

“When you see a group of kids cheering on someone they see in that position who is Jewish,” he told Politics“I was thinking, some 40 years ago, if I was in this assembly and you had told me that there was going to be a Jew married to the vice-president, I would have said, ‘There is no There’s no way. There’s just no way.'”

Emhoff, who left his practice before the inauguration and joined Georgetown University Law Center to teach an entertainment law course, has already marveled at his situation.

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Talk to Today Last June, he said he reflected on how he got there “every minute of every day”.

“And sometimes she and I look at each other and just – I say, ‘You’re the vice president of the United States’ and she’ll say, ‘You’re the second gentleman of the United States.'”

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