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Just A Girl Who Loves Her Wifey Shirt, hoodie, tank top
In the lead-up to the 2016 election, former president (and, at that moment, aspiring first gentleman) Bill Clinton trotted out a stump speech line at an event for his wife, telling reporters, “I am tired of the stranglehold that women have had on the job of presidential spouse.” Four years later, when presidential candidate Joe Biden promised to pick a woman as his vice president—and to bean-count his cabinet to ensure that it met a level of racial and gender diversity that reflected America itself—he perhaps did not think of the trailblazing first he might be furnishing by proxy: a male vice presidential spouse. With his appointment of Kamala Harris as running mate, a Magritte-style defamiliarization of the familiar took place, as the most traditional image in American politics—a blue-suited, brown-haired white man—suddenly reconstituted itself as a radical one, and Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer in his mid-fifties, whom she married in 2014, suddenly became, as second gentleman–elect, something of a sensation. (He is also the first Jewish spouse of a president or VP.) There was no doubt that Kamala Harris burst through barriers as the first woman and first woman of color to be elected VP; news outlets described how Emhoff was also poised to break stereotypes and make history.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris stand with spouses Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff in Wilmington, Delaware, after being declared the winners of the 2020 presidential election.
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