'Second Dude' trends as Kamala Harris' husband Doug Emhoff becomes 1st male spouse of VP-elect after Biden wins

With Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States, Emhoff created history, alongside his wife, by becoming the first male spouse of a vice president. Since there is no blueprint to follow for Emhoff, it has often become something of a joke in the past


                            'Second Dude' trends as Kamala Harris' husband Doug Emhoff becomes 1st male spouse of VP-elect after Biden wins
(Getty Images)

'#SecondDude' started to trend as soon as multiple news organizations called the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden. But the hashtag had more to do with the first female vice president-elect of an African-American and Asian descent than anything else. The term referred to Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff. 

With Biden becoming the 46th president of the United States, Emhoff created history, alongside his wife, by becoming the first male spouse of a vice president. Since there is no blueprint to follow for Emhoff, it has often become something of a joke in the past. After Harris made her campaign debut in Wilmington, Delaware in August, after she was picked as Biden's running mate, the now-President-Elect humorously said, "Doug, you're going to have to learn what it means to be a barrier-breaker yourself in this job you're about to take on: America's first second gentleman." 

Although all female spouses of VPs in the past have been traditionally termed second ladies as the wives of presidents are called first ladies, there has never been such a term coined for a male spouse in a similar position because there never was the need for it. Although terms like "Second Man" or "Second Gentleman" were spun by Biden supporters before the elections started, another term that hilariously became popular was "Second Dude." While the term seems informal, it immediately started trending on Twitter as soon as Biden won. 

"Guys, we will also have the first second man/dude/gentleman??? of the United States," one person tweeted, while another wrote, "Kamala Harris is the first woman, South Asian, and Black Vice President! Doug Emhoff is the first Second Gentleman / Vice Dude of the United States! Together, they are the first biracial couple in the White House! History was made in many ways! #RepresentationMatters" A third said, "Douglas Emhoff — the spouse to @KamalaHarris— will be the first SECOND HUSBAND (DUDE) in American history."

Another remarked, "BREAKING: @DouglasEmhoff elected America’s First Second Dude! CONGRATULATIONS DOUG!!!" And the next added, "The first man..and the first #Jewish person to be the spouse of the #VicePresidentOfTheUnitedStates #DouglasEmhoff-#SecondDude"



 



 



 



 



 

Emhoff, an entertainment lawyer by profession, has often been a quiet and supportive force on the campaign trail when Harris was running for president. He also admitted that he had learned a lot after being on the campaign trail with his wife. "To actually meet people of all kinds all around the country and really listen and really hear what's going on in their lives...For a kid who grew up in New York and L.A., and spent most of my life in New York, L.A., San Francisco and D.C., it just really opened my eyes," Emhoff said about Harris' failed 2020 bid during an April virtual Biden campaign event.

He was seen sporting a "Kamala" T-shirt at times and was active on social media touting his wife's achievements. He even had his group of supporters who called themselves the #DougHive, modeled after Harris' supporters and the #KHive. "Cueing to other voters, in particular other men, the need to sometimes step back and lift up women's voices in this process and that sort of symbolic nod that Doug Emhoff seems to be giving is going to be important to and perhaps influence future generations of men," said Kelly Dittmar, an associate Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University--Camden.

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