It’s a position with no official title and no official description, but Doug Emhoff is about to take the job all the same. At least now we know what to call him once his wife, Kamala Harris, is sworn in as the vice president of the United States.
A long line of second ladies have supported their husbands after those men took the second-highest office in the land, and Emhoff is set be the very first second gentleman.
Following months of speculation during the campaign and weeks more since the election, Harris herself confirmed the news Thursday.
"I think that the term has evolved into the second gentleman," Harris said when asked about it during a sit-down with CNN.
In response, anchor Jake Tapper told her he preferred the less formal option “second dude,” to which she laughed and said, “I think some of his friends are inclined to say that.”
As for how she’ll address the 56-year-old Emhoff, Harris added, “I’ll call him ‘honey.’”
While the role of second gentleman, like that of second ladies and even first ladies, is whatever one makes of it, Emhoff plans to make a lot of it. He stepped back his career as a successful entertainment lawyer in order to support his wife on the campaign trail, and he plans to step down from his practice completely by Inauguration Day as he devotes himself to his new role.
"I’m humbled, I’m honored to have put it all on hold — my career, family life, everything — to help Kamala on this campaign and really help Joe (Biden),” he told Glamour just days before the election. “Because as I’ve been saying on the trail now, I love Kamala Harris, but I’ve gotten to know Joe and Jill (Biden) very well on this campaign. And I love them too. They’re just incredible."
And, of course, he can always reach out to Jill Biden if he needs any tips on how to handle the job of second spouse. But being the first man in that position won’t be the only first for Emhoff. He’ll also be the first Jewish spouse of a vice president.
However, when it comes to firsts, Emhoff is still second to his wife.
Harris is the first woman elected vice president, and she's also set to be the first Black person and the first South Asian American to hold that office.