December 9th, 2008
11:44 AM ET
10 years ago

'Nanny' state: Fran Drescher seeks Clinton's Senate seat

Fran Drescher is a women's health advocate and a public diplomacy envoy for the State Department.

Fran Drescher is a women's health advocate and a public diplomacy envoy for the State Department.

NEW YORK (CNN) - Actress Fran Drescher has expressed interest in being appointed to the U.S. Senate seat that New York's Hillary Clinton is giving up to become secretary of state, a spokesman for the actress said.

No, seriously.

"Fran Drescher, actress, women's health advocate and public diplomacy envoy for the U.S. State Department, announced that she is throwing her hat into the ring of contenders for the senate seat being vacated by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton," Drescher spokesman Jordan Brown told CNN in a written statement late Monday.

Watch: CNN's Alina Cho break down Drescher's  interest

Drescher, 51, is best known for her starring role in the 1990s television comedy "The Nanny" and an adenoidal voice that could strip the rust off an engine block - a talent that might come in handy during a Senate filibuster.

But since a bout with uterine cancer, she has become an activist for better health care for women and was named a State Department public envoy on the issue in September. Drescher recently toured Eastern European countries to raise awareness of the issue on behalf of the State Department.

New York Gov. David Paterson will appoint a successor for Clinton, who still must be confirmed by her Senate colleagues for the Cabinet post. That successor would face voters in a special election in 2010.

A spokesman for Patterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.

Speculation over Paterson's choice reached a frenzy over the weekend after reports that Caroline Kennedy, daughter of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, had phoned to discuss the position.

Paterson said Monday that Kennedy had called him and "asked a few questions," but dismissed other reports as "gossip."

"And frankly, this is a serious issue which I think is starting to be
treated as some sort of reality TV show," he added.

A senior adviser to Clinton, Philippe Reines, said she would not comment on her possible successors.

"This is entirely Governor Patterson's decision and we're respecting the privacy of his process," Reines said.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (465 Responses)
  1. Jasmine in NYC & Germany

    I would be highly supportive of Caroline Kennedy for the position.

    December 9, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given that there are no requirements other than age set forth in the Constitution about being a Senator, she's welcome to state her case. If I were Patterson, I'd have a binder with all of the possible people that are interested in the job. Talking with all of them would take a while, but when all of the talking is done, then you are ready with someone as soon as Clinton stands down.

    December 9, 2008 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  3. Robert NYC

    I'd be happy with the Nanny, however, the kennedy's are expecting a pay back. That family is something else.

    December 9, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  4. Ken in Dallas

    That's diabolical. Patterson's bought himself a breathing space, if nothing else. By the time they're done quivering in their boots over the thought of a Drescher filibuster, they'll accept anybody else Patterson may consider with heartfelt relief.

    Fran might be really good in the Senate, but the thought of listening to that voice reading from the Washington, DC, phone book is enough to give me the willies.

    December 9, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. AJ

    You must be kidding...

    December 9, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. PJP

    C'mon Miss Fine!!!!

    December 9, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  7. Dave from Canada

    Gimme a break.

    December 9, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  8. Dignity & Intelligence in Office Please

    Not gonna happen ... Caroline Kennedy vs Fran Drescher .... um ... let's see.

    Don't get me wrong, as a read blooded American boy, there were aspects that I REALLY REALLY liked about her character ... but everything has it's place.

    I"ve never felt the Congress, the Senate, the Cabinet, the Whitehouse or the Supreme Court was anyplace for ANY athlete, actor or actress .... unless they were a Rhodes Scholar... that includes Ronnie Raygun, Fred Thompson, Arnold Schwartznegger, Fred Gundy, Heath Schuler, or Fran Drescher.

    December 9, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  9. sunshine

    carolyn kennedy would be the best choice for senator clintons replacement.

    December 9, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. Greg, NY

    The hostess with the mostest!

    December 9, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. carlo

    Is this some kind of joke? Fran has been following Palin too long. See what happens when you let one moron run for office? It opens the floodgate of fools.

    December 9, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  12. Annie the Democrat

    Fran, I loved you as the Nanny, however, that doesn't mean I want you as a Senator.

    Not Fran D.
    Not Caroline K.


    Only SERIOUS candidates need apply!

    December 9, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  13. Jaye

    Of all the qualified people in NY to take Hillary's senate seat It's laughable that Fran Dresher thinks she has a chance.
    What is our senate turning into.... a laughing stock?

    December 9, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  14. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    I don’t doubt her sincerity, but this selection should be treated with the utmost respect and Governor Patterson needs to think about selecting someone that could possibly win the seat in 2010 and perhaps beyond.

    December 9, 2008 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  15. S Callahan

    Being a New far only two promisinng candidates for me....Kennedy or Gillabrand

    December 9, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  16. Charles Douglas Lemay

    In 1926, when Jack Warner's brothers were trying to drag him and the
    studio into "talking pictures," he famously retorted: "Who in the hell
    wants to listen to an actor talk?"

    Fran the Nanny? Good grief!

    December 9, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  17. Jill American

    One intelligent, serious, hard working woman to replace another ... Fran gets my vote!

    December 9, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  18. American View

    Now that is change I can't live with!

    December 9, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  19. Frank the Tank

    Her laugh makes me cringe, it can be the trademark for our country after the honeymoon...

    December 9, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. Scott Tucson

    Hey why not? She certainly can't do any worst than Chuck Shumer and the other democratic senators, and she's far easier on the eyes than Pelosi and Hillary.

    December 9, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. John Anthony

    She'd be a very effective Senator. Everyone would give her whatever she wanted just to keep from hearing that horrible whiny voice!

    December 9, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. Victoria

    Fran, I love ya, but please.. This is ridiculous.

    December 9, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. Phil in KC

    At first, I thought, "you've got to be joking." But the more I thought about it, I thought, maybe she could be a good appointment. Although a comedic actress originally, she takes these issues very seriously.
    Of course, I also like Caroline Kennedy. Either would please the left wing of the party. Of course, Caroline would appeal to those of us who remember her father's time in the White House – and exactly where we were when we heard that horrible news.

    December 9, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Amber

    I would rather have Fran than Kennedy. Have you ever listened to Fran D. talk politics. She's impressive! I'd much rather have her than Caroline Kennedy whose only qualification is that she's a lawyer and JFK's daughter. I'm sure her big mouth uncle will have his paw prints all over this trying to persuade Gov. Paterson to give her the seat. Kennedys crack me up.....they think the can do anything or get anything they want just because of their familial name! NO KENNEDY! Besides, have you ever heard her speak publicly...what a yawner! She sounds like that teacher (Ben Stein) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off..."Anyone, anyone". BORING! Nobody wants to listen to that. Now Fran D. on the other hand....I'd listen to her and actually be interested in what she has to say. That woman is very smart and very insightful!! Don't let the comedian thing fool you, folks!

    December 9, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  25. President Obama/VA

    I like the "Kennedy" name better.

    December 9, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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