Vice President Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, raises money for Democrats in Brentwood

FILE - In this April 30, 2021 file photo, Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks at Union Station in Raleigh, N.C. Emhoff, the spouse of Vice President Kamala Harris, is taking his first solo trip abroad and will lead a delegation to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo later this month. President Joe Biden was expected to make the announcement Tuesday.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, Pool)
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Doug Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, said Friday that Democrats have a clear message about their accomplishments to contrast with Republican obstructionism for this year’s midterm elections.

“We know what we’re for. We’re for doing the work for the American people,” the second gentleman said at a fundraiser in Brentwood on Los Angeles' Westside, listing the administration’s work on areas such as the pandemic, job creation and infrastructure. “We’re serious people doing the serious work of government.

“We are going to be able to make our case to the American people as we go into the midterms,” he said before turning his attention to the Republican Party and asking, “What are they for other than a power grab and basically trying to cheat to get there?”

It’s an optimistic message in an election cycle where Democrats are widely expected to lose control of the House of Representatives — both because the party in power in the White House typically loses seats in the first midterm election of a presidency, and also because of President Biden's poor approval ratings.

Republicans also have an edge in fundraising, with the party's national committees and congressional leadership super PACs raising $275.9 million in 2021 compared with Democrats' $241.1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics.

Emhoff's words also come after a year when Harris has struggled to find her footing as vice president, in part because she has been tasked with some of the most intractable issues facing the nation, but also because she has been an imperfect messenger.

Supporters of Harris — the first woman as well as the first Black or Asian American to hold the office — argue that the criticism is driven by sexism and racism, but others say some of it is self-created.

Though Emhoff did not directly address the criticism of his wife, he acknowledged that the administration could do a better job of promoting its successes, such as the aid provided by the American Rescue Fund, the more than 200 million people who have been fully vaccinated, or the projects that will be funded by the $1-trillion infrastructure package Biden signed in November.

“This administration had a really great first year. It really has,” he said. “Do we all need to do a better job of communicating publicly all the things I’ve told you? Probably. But you’re starting to see that. You’re starting to see more media. The president said, and the vice president said, we have to get out of D.C. Sure enough, you’re starting to see that.”

Emhoff made the remarks while speaking to about a dozen donors at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.

The morning gathering took place in the backyard of a Brentwood estate owned by Andrew Howard, a partner at Shamrock Capital, and his wife, Jennifer.

The DNC did not release details about ticket prices or whether the event would benefit certain candidates. Attendees drank bottled water; platters of mini-muffins sat nearby.

Emhoff is scheduled to head back to Washington on Saturday, the day before his favored Los Angeles Rams take the field at the Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.