December 9th, 2008
11:44 AM ET
9 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. sglman4Obama

    OMG you have got to be kidding me? Has anyone heard this chick talk I mean SQUAWK? Her voice will cause sessions of Congress to be cancelled because of inner ear nerve deafness. That voice would blow the CSPAN boom mikes! EEK noway, besides she has NO experience remotely close to being a US Senator!

    December 9, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. J.C.

    Caroline Kennedy would be my choice if there is the choice between Caroline Kennedy and Fran Drescher.

    December 9, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Brad

    Well,..."The Nanny" is a comedy. This could be a great reality show! Besides, New York has a habit of giving away their Senate seats to people who aren't even from New I suppose that this wouldn't be out of character for New York. Otherwise, the idea is absurd! Then again, she may be as qualified as Hillary Clinton was when she first became a Senator from New York. They are certainly both annoying!

    I think that New York would be a lot better off with Kennedy or Cuomo.

    December 9, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Kimberly Wineland

    Caroline Kennedy – What a dud! I vote for Fran.

    December 9, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    In a year where Joe the Plumber can become a political figure I suppose we should expect this. Paterson is going to want someone who can hold the seat in 2010 so would look for a rising star or shrewd pick (Cuomo) rather than a gimmick. "This is a serious issue which I think is starting to be treated as some sort of reality TV show" – well said Mr. Governor.

    December 9, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. oh, whatever!

    if palin can make a buck or two, why not the Nanny?

    December 9, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Jim Jam

    'that wasn't her real voice. That was just part of her act. She is an intelligent, savy woman who deserves consideration. I believe I would prefer to see Caroline Kennedy, though. Caroline has many, many excellent qualities that would lead her to excellent service.

    December 9, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. sunshine

    i would say NO, i can't even watch her tv show.

    December 9, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. NC

    Welll, if Fran has already served as envoy of the State Dept., that makes her more qualified than Caroline Kennedy!! Used to be the name was always Caroline Kennedy Slossberg. Now, to emphasize her family connections, they only refer to her as Caroline Kennedy. Caroline has done nothing in politics until this year's convention and getting chosen by Obama for his VP committee. Growing up around others in politics does not qualify somebody for the Senate any more than growing up around a surgeon qualifies one to go in the operating room and do surgery. Bill needs to reconsider.

    December 9, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Sherrol in Canada

    I love you Fran, but your voice would give the Senate headaches on a daily basis.

    Also, are we sure you're not only throwing your hat in just to stir up some controversey?

    December 9, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Gloria, El Paso ,TX

    What is she trying to do, give the pea brain from Alaska competition?
    That's all we need, ,a bunch of stupid scatter brain idiots making government decisions that will affect all of us in our country.

    December 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. if she is an astute business woman

    she has one large hill to climb, of Palin proportions

    December 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. ran

    No way. No how. New Yorkers can not be that stupid.

    December 9, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. dp in jersey

    Hello, people! Fran's an actress! That whiny Nanny voice is AN ACT! In real life Ms. Drescher is very knowledgeable and highly articulate. Give her a chance!

    December 9, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. The new minority

    Well, she meets the #1 criterion for true consideration, she's not a white guy.

    December 9, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Audrey

    What about Joe the Plumber?

    December 9, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Robbie

    wow! how cool! i'd vote for Fran!

    December 9, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. No Way

    Another joke.

    December 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. steve

    I don't want to see another Kennedy put into office just because of her name and no real knowledge. any body would be better wether it's Fran or Mickey Mouse.

    December 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Man, she's great to look at, but once she opens her mouth . . . . .

    Like nails on a chalkboard.

    December 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. johnny the boy

    Why not, anything is better than a Clinton.

    Did you catch the bit about Obama's buddy in Illinois trying to sell his vacant senate seat? The good stuff begins.

    December 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. paul

    Again this proves the Democrats have nothing in the tank and running on fumes.

    I'll be glad when that party comes to an end and we can rebuild this country the way Ronald Reagan envisioned it to be.

    As he said "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!"

    December 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Observer in SC

    What ever happened words like, "qualified – experienced..." etc.?

    More and more, it looks like this seat is a "prize" for celebrities, or people named Kennedy to continue their dynasty. There's talk on TV that Jeb Bush "if he wants it" will get FL in 2 years.

    That being the case, if seats are handed out that way, perhaps Chelsea should put in her "rightful claim" to it as well. A Clinton Dynasty.

    December 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Pantwaller

    She may be "The Nanny" to other, but she'll always be Bobbi Fleckman to me!

    December 9, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Vicki5

    Is she a Palin look alike?

    December 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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