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. Modog351

    Why choose that picture to run with the story? It's a terrible photo.

    December 9, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. Mark

    C'mon her unparallel level of whininess makes her a model Democrat.

    December 9, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. joe


    December 9, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Tylenol666

    The Standards and qualifications of becoming a Senator are
    "just have a pulse?"


    December 9, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Deborah

    Don't dismiss her too easily. Look into her record. I love the idea of Caroline Kennedy, but Fran Drescher has actually had more public service experience and would be a great advocate in this position. There are plenty of actors who have been elected or appointed to high profile political positions – why not her? It sounds like sexism is rearing its ugly head once again.

    December 9, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. ANGIE

    You Have got to be kidding right?

    December 9, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Tim

    No more Clintons, no more Bushes, no more Kennedies.


    December 9, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Bob in MN

    I think it should go to Tom Davis, who was Al Franken's comedy partner from SNL. Then if Franken makes it, they could do some of their comedy routines at news conferences, and be the warm up act at State of the Union speeches.

    December 9, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Laurie Mann

    Both Fran Drescher and Caroline Kennedy have done extensive volunteer work over the years. I've heard Drescher speak on behalf of cancer victims, and she's a good, intelligent speaker. Kennedy has written a number of books, has a law degree, and has helped raise money for many groups in New York City.

    To call them "do-nothings" is unfair, and, dare I suggest, sexist?

    I'd like to see either of them in the Senate. The Senate needs new ideas and not people who've just been "doing politics" their whole lives.

    December 9, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Pookie Pooh

    AWESOME! Hope Gov. Petterson gives her a chance! She's got what it takes!

    December 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Donna J. Rector

    Fran would make an excellent senator. If you listened carefully, her show was full of wonderful common sense and wisdom. There is much about New York you can't learn unless you grew up in the state.
    Fran has worked very hard in her life and it hasn't always beenwithout trauma. The things that have happened to her deepen a person. These things make a person look outside them self and understand the workings of the whole.

    December 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Kristi

    Well, thankfully the brain-trust of chauvinistic ignoramuses posting here won't be the ones making the decision.

    "READ"-blooded American commenting on intelligence? HA! That's a good one....

    December 9, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Just me

    It amazes me the stupitity that people show as they seem to think the character anyone plays on TV, movies , etc is the REAL Person. Hey people .....TV and movies are fictional characters.....Yeah Really.... they are fictional. Sorry to shock you. Turn off the TV once and a while and turn on your brain

    December 9, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. John Des Plaines

    Two words Fran, Sarah Palin. Go home and obsess over gaining half a pound.

    December 9, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. JoeTheSchmoeInPokanoe

    Miss FINE!

    She'd be great. One heck of a lot better than so many of those idiots on the Hill now, that's for sure!

    December 9, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  16. barfly

    Either one would make me throw-up. Congress is a joke now.

    December 9, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Voice of Reason

    It makes total political sense:

    The acting talent of the Governator, combined with the brains of Sarah Palin.

    I'll bet she's on the ticket in 2012 along with some ancient republican war hero...

    December 9, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    I believe that Ms Drescher should wait and run openly for the seat in 2010; the governor should appoint some one with more expreience. Let the Voters decide how competent she is... she might surprise people...

    December 9, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Tracy, Chicago, IL

    LOL, so Hillary's Senate seat is going to be a circus like the governor's race in CA, it's going to be fun to watch.

    December 9, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Rick in L.A.

    I'd rather have someone with experience, but it sometimes seems outsiders are skeptical, and their dreams for change are charged with hope. I'll give her a 6 on the 1 to ten scale. But please, get a voice coach.

    December 9, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Amy

    Hey, let her run. I don't think she talks like she did on the show. I bet she'd make a terrific Senator. I agree with what TexasAnnie and Amber said. If you run, Ms. Drescher, mazel tov!

    December 9, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. patty

    What is it with people who judge people before they have even heard what they have to say. From all I can find Fran Drescher is a very astute buisness woman. Sarah Palin has also had many accomplishments in her political career. Why is it that certain people discount anyone who does not have a harvard law degree. They have been running the country for years and here we are. Maybe its time to let clear thinking common sense people have a shot. Ater all they are for the most part the people who wrote the constitution of this great nation.

    December 9, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Chris

    Anyone who thinks this is silly or a joke doesn't really know anything about Fran Drescher and is just thinking about a character she played years ago. You may choose to disagree with her politics, but "silly" she is not.

    December 9, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. P.J.

    We're talking about replacing Hillary Clinton here. What were her qualifications coming in? I was married to the Governer of Arkanasas, that because of a rogue 3rd party candidate (Perot) was able to steal the white house from an extremely popular President (remember Dessert Storm). I then became first lady and tried to get universal healthcare enacted in the first year, then didn't do anything (including leave my husband) for the next 7 years. Then when his two terms was up, I moved to New York and was able to win the Senate election because Giuliani dropped out at the last minute for health reasons, despite the fact I never lived in New York before.

    But, Kennedy does have a pretty good argument for taking the seat "My last name is Kennedy".

    December 9, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Al

    have u people even bothered too look into her credentials cause it seems that most the negative comments here are being based on her character in a TV SHOW. A TV SHOW. I'll say it one more time...a character in a TV SHOW. Now i'm not gonna say she's qualified or the right person but I can't really say that because she was the nanny or her voice is this or that she can't be a senator, maybe it'd be a good idea to find out first before you deny yourself the right to have someone who could potentially help your state. I heard from some sources that she is a very intelligent woman and has some good idea but i mean she was the nanny so maybe that doesnt matter..really???

    December 9, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19