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'Call me up!' Jill Biden tells governors' spouses in unity pitch

The first lady said some issues, like cancer research and helping military families, transcend politics.

WASHINGTON — Jill Biden on Monday urged spouses of the nation’s governors to keep working together and with her on issues she says transcend politics, such as her efforts to help military families and supporting research into a cure for cancer.

The first lady expressed hope that connections she and the spouses made while the National Governors Association resumed its annual winter meeting in Washington "will continue far beyond this weekend.”

It was the Biden White House's first interaction with the state chief executives as a group. The governors met virtually last winter because of COVID-19.

“Why can’t we keep in contact and talk to one another and see where we can find common ground and bring people together?" Jill Biden said.

The first lady hosted spouses at the White House on Saturday to pack care boxes for National Guard troops, and on Sunday she accompanied President Joe Biden to George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon, Virginia, for a black-tie dinner with the governors and their husbands and wives.

On Monday, the first lady and Doug Emhoff, who is married to Vice President Kamala Harris, treated the spouses to musical and ballet performances at the Kennedy Center.

She said a lot of the spouses had told her they wanted to hold care-box packing events back home.

“When you do it, call me up,” the first lady said.

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Emhoff stressed the importance of spouses sharing their experiences.

He said he and other male spouses “kind of bonded together” after his wife was elected to the U.S. Senate and said the relationships “helped me a lot when I first came to D.C.” In his new role as second gentleman, Emhoff is now president of the Senate spouses group.

"We share such a special bond, that we support somebody that we love very much who puts themself out for public office, and are there for them through thick and thin, slings and arrow,” Emhoff said. “Whatever it is, we're the one that's there for them, and we share that and that's a very, very special bond.”

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