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. Al

    As a Republican, I say to the Democrats: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let this lady have the senate seat. PLEASE!!!

    December 9, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Carol

    It's interesting that Fran has a job with the government. Didn't know that. I'm sure she is an intelligent woman, and capable, but I would like to see Kennedy get this senate position; she has it in our genes, she understands and keeps up with politics, and she is a lawyer.

    December 9, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. shanbaum

    I wonder if she would be interested in being governor of Illinois?

    December 9, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Brian

    I LOVE Fran Drescher and think she would make an excellent Senator for my state!

    December 9, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Dan

    TexasAnnie said:
    "Don't laugh about Fran Drescher. She's a very astute business woman. She wasn't just the zany actress in The Nanny, she was also the executive producer of that show as well as others. She's sort of a Lucille Ball kind of person– she could be a total screwball on screen playing a part, but behind the scenes she's a smart & tough business woman. I'd never thought of her as a political candidate, but why not? She's as bright & as qualified as many of the others either seeking that seat or already filling other Senate/House seats."

    You're 100% correct.

    And regarding the voice, she did put it on a bit for the character. (It's called acting people!) Her real voice is similar but not nearly so annoying.

    December 9, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. BS not Maverick

    How much is she willing to pay!

    December 9, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Jim from CT

    Does she still have that annoying voice and laugh? (YIPES)!!

    December 9, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Oh Boy

    ME TOO,

    I want to take a whack at it. My long entertainment gig in comedy and band at our local pub has prepared me enough to take on senate seat.

    What say you Voter?

    December 9, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Estella in Corpus Christis

    The Kennedys have run their course. It's time for new blood in Washington politics.

    By the way, the "Nanny" with the annoying voice is NOT real and is NOT running for the Senate– it's Fran Drescher, an inteligent woman with a very pleasant voice and brilliant mind.

    December 9, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Amused

    I can't imagine, nor do I want to imagine, a Senate with both Al Franken and Fran Drescher. This Hollywoodification of our political system is a disturbing trend. Don't get me wrong, she was hilarious in This is Spinal Tap, but that's not really what I'm looking for in a Congressperson.

    Actors, remember "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." Words to live by.

    December 9, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Mike in Arlington, TX

    Charismatic and politically active, she's no different than Sarah Palin, except that Fran Drescher is not an idiot.

    December 9, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Dr. Stoner

    NO, NO, pick me pick me. Are we just a stepping stone to every elite rich, celebrity. I loved the Nanny and Fran, But, lets get real here in New York for a change.

    December 9, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. M Thomas D

    I weep for the future

    December 9, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Judy Rennick

    Has anyone read Fran Dresher's book on her cancer experience? I read it when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer and she comes across as a big baby who thought that she should have all of this special treatment because she was a tv star. She is stupid and very immature and certainly not fit to be a senator.

    December 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. ED


    December 9, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Henry

    I would take the binder idea a step farther.

    Take all the binders of all the wishful candidates and throw them up a flight of stairs. The one that gets the highest should be appointed.

    December 9, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Kim

    Love her to pieces and she is a true advocate for health care, but I gotta say..............just when you thought Sarah Palin's voice was annoying...........

    December 9, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Jackie in Dallas

    New York could possibly use a sense of humor...

    Seriously, Fran has done quite a few things without a lot of media spotlight, and is an intelligent and well-spoken woman on serious issues. The "voice" on the sitcom is not her real one, although she can use it with good effect when a reporter annoys her! I don't know enough about her politics to judge her ability to be a Senator, but I'm going to warn our GOP neocons to be careful what they say about "personalities" in public office. Shaky limb there, for the party that elected the Teminator to Governor of California, the Gipper to the Presidency of the US, and "Gopher" Fred Grandy as Representative to Congress from Iowa.

    December 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. John, Virginia

    Personally, I prefer Newt Gingrich. He would make a great Senator and, anyway, it seems that none of our elected officials actually live in the states they represent.

    December 9, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Joe M

    Gimme a break! Sounds like chalk on a blackboard! New York State can and must do better than this blowhard.

    December 9, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Geoff

    I heard that Mr. Belvedere was expressing interest too. I hope they both let Murphy Brown interview them.

    December 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Alfred Neuman

    New York is as big of a joke as Moronasota with Al Frankenfurter, the dkhead.

    December 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. No Hillary = No Obama

    These celebrities need to get a grip on their egos. California elected the Terminator and now there is the termination of jobs & programs. Politics and celebrity share a common strain of egomania.

    December 9, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Lady

    I would support Fran or Caroline. However, I think Caroline will blow her out of the water.

    December 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Sonic Mike

    Well, I guess it finally happened; pigs are flying, at least seeing seats in the Senate. Was Axl Rose busy? Can anyone believe this slimeball is serious?

    December 9, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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