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. Conan


    December 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Karen

    Wow, now everybody wants that senate seat. Well I might as well put my name into the race....Karen from PA. I will move to NY if needed.

    December 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Emma from Texas

    Caroline Kennedy all the way! We need a Kennedy in there!

    December 9, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. sleepy

    Just do what they're doing in Illinios and sell the appointment to the highest bidder 🙂

    December 9, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. tired of corporate politics

    CB2 says: "her voice is so annoying" I seem to remeber this profound, researched, highly educated opinion said about Hillary too.

    Can we please move the women-in-politics bashing beyond the Bevis and Butthead mentality?

    It's like 2008 – when will it be OK for an outspoken woman to be taken seriously? I know Obama's staff really worked the sexist angle against Hillary but let's get beyond that, OK?

    December 9, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. Diane

    I think Fran would be a great contender! She's bright and has the ability to take on the Senate!

    December 9, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Diana

    why not its America and everyone has a choice....I think Caroline has been thru enough let her enjoy some life for a change

    December 9, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. Ray Fisher

    The Nanny Fran voice will keep them awake in Congress for sure!!!

    December 9, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. rosa

    I love her fashion since. Go for it Fran!!! 🙂

    December 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. arc, Lugano CH

    Texas Annie: I agree with you.

    Lots of folks will write a hurried zinger response based on the television show that she starred in. But few will actually research what her politics are as the article gives only a brief overview.

    Filling Hillary Clinton's seat would be a daunting task for anyone. That is a given. Senator Clinton’s successor will need to be up for the task, be that Fran Drescher or whoever else that it may be.

    December 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Sue

    Not meaning Caroline because she isn't included in what i'm writing....but everyone puts so much on the Kennedys ...hey I was born and bred in Ma.......but they have more in their closets than any family I know and whats in their closet is all corrupt

    December 9, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Franky

    Party guys over here and everybody is invited!

    Teach that Gov and is gonna be our Batcave now...yes, Batcave, not city, LOL!!

    Maybe people learn like that...

    December 9, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Michael

    She doesnt live in New York. Giving her the Senate seat is like letting her sister Nadine (nurse) perform Surgery. Stick to doing fund drives
    with Rosey.

    December 9, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Ken

    Looks like Palin opened the sluces for every pretty face to apply for government office. But it would be hard to imagine that these other pretty faces are as vacuous as the Mooseburger Queen....she and the [R] party have set the bar way, way LOW.

    December 9, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. CMJ

    Listen, let's not paint a person into a box here. She has done other things with her life, good things, since being on that TV show. Give her a little more credit.

    That said, I like Kennedy for the position.

    December 9, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. NO

    Why is this even a news story? Come on and cover something worthwhile.

    December 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Jeremy KS

    I can't believe so many people can't seperate a character from the actor/actress playing it. I haven't followed Fran's life, so I don't know if she already is highly involved in politics or issues, but even if she isn't, Caroline Kennedy is no more qualified than I am to be a senator. She comes from a political family. Anything else? I have nothing against the Kennedy's, but lets not fall for the trap of name recognition.

    December 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. rich

    Well..I lost for words. What's her creds?

    December 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. jd

    Hey cb2, Her voice might be anoying, but then having to look at Hillary is much worse.

    Of course the New Yorkers are pulling for Caroline. She is a Kennedy isn't she?

    December 9, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. Rhonda

    I would think Fran would be absolutely wonderful in the seat. She has my vote!!!!!GO FOR IT FRAN!

    December 9, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Kristin

    As a resident of Upstate NY, it saddens me to see so little said about potential replacements from upstate. But of course, we don't have the name recognition of Kennedy and Drescher. Sadly, we have a couple candidates with real live qualifications! Those seem to get overlooked when the media only focuses on star power. Take a look at Brian Higgins. As our congressman, he has done INCREDIBLE work for Western New York. Also, Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo. Here are two men with REAL political experience, and not just a fancy name. I HATE that substance will again lose out.

    December 9, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  22. Marc

    I cant beleive that Im going to say this but I would rather see a Kennedy in Clinton's seat than this airheaded hollywood debutante

    December 9, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Tamara in Montana

    Is she even a resident of New York? I thought she lived in Malibu!
    In general, celebrities should be seen and not heard.

    December 9, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. failboat nubsauce

    OMG i HATE this ladys voice its so fkin annoying...... god please do not let her be a politician...

    anyone notice she looks really High in this picture? Musta smoked some of Bill Clinton's private stash

    December 9, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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