Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff. Photo: OLIVIER DOULIERY / Getty Images

Kamala Harris's spouse, Doug Emhoff, is stepping into his public role by increasing pressure on the ticket, saying that margin matters in the Democrats' potential victory in November.

Driving the news: Emhoff, who took a leave of absence from his law firm job, signaled that he'll take an active role in the campaign at his first public event, when he spoke to LGBTQ activists Thursday afternoon.

  • "We need to do more than win," Emhoff said, according to a pool report. "We need a mandate to show this president doesn't define who our country is." 

What he's saying: Emhoff, like Todd Palin in 2008, acknowledged that it may take some time to feel comfortable with his new campaign persona.

  • "Okay, time for some real talk first," Emhoff said. "Being out here on the presidential campaign trail talking about Joe and Kamala is not something I've ever really expected to be doing."

Of note: There's some confusion on what to call him should Biden and Harris win the general election.

  • Emhoff said that he and Harris will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary this Saturday.
  • When he got engaged, none other than Biden called and left him a congratulatory message, which he still has.
  • "We've become one big happy modern family, just trying to make it work like everyone else. "

Go deeper

Obama to campaign for Biden in Philadelphia on Wednesday

Obama and Biden walk through the Crypt of the Capitol. Photo: J. Scott APPLEWHITE/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama is expected to make his first in-person campaign stop for Joe Biden next Wednesday, Oct. 21, in Philadelphia.

The state of play: With 18 days until the election, the former president plans to visit a handful of critical battleground states. Obama is expected to make joint appearances with Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris in the final stretch of the race, the Atlantic reports, and will concentrate on states with early voting.

  • “He’s doing enough for our campaign,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday, leaking plans for the former president's campaign efforts. “He’ll be out on the trail.”
Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump suggests he'll leave the U.S. if he loses to Biden

Trump speaking in Macon, Georgia, on Oct. 16. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

At a rally in Friday night in Macon, Georgia, President Trump mocked Joe Biden, saying, "The mask is always so large!" — and suggested that he would leave the U.S. out of embarrassment if he lost to the former vice president.

What he's saying: "I shouldn’t joke because you know what? Running against the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics puts pressure on me," Trump said. "Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I gonna do? I'm gonna say: 'I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics.' I'm not gonna feel so good. Maybe I'll have to leave the country — I don't know."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery