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. Monika

    Seriously, are there only a few intelligent people out there? Do you think the CHARACTER Fran played on TV is her for real? The voice was a put-on for the role, she has a very nice voice in real life, and even if that were her real voice, what has that to do with anything? She's a very smart businesswoman, and I'd take her over Caroline Kennedy any day. Caroline Kennedy is the laughable candidate in this situation.

    December 9, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Randy

    First "Stuart Smalley" (aka Al Franken) in Minnesota and now "The Nanny" in NY. The GOP is a lot worse off than I thought if the Dems can get these two in office. It must be the year of the obnoxious actor.

    December 9, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. Janice

    What is your fasination with the Kennedy's. Good grief people. Try using your brain, it may hurt at first but you will get over it.

    December 9, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. proudliberal

    caroline kennedy has a much nicer voice.

    December 9, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Obama Backer In the South

    Senator "Nanny"???? LORD HELP US ALL!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Remy

    If the NewYokers need an intelligent person, they have to support Caroline Kennedy as the replacement for HRC. I hope NY governer think about intelligent people to run the country!

    December 9, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Gene

    Oh my god.. please no! Can you imagine hearing that voice during senate meetings... arguing points? I think this is a stunt to scare people into begging for Carolyn Kennedy 🙂

    December 9, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. A Plymouth Rocker

    So, glad I do not live in New York. Hey, if spouses can fill in for their counterparts when they've died or gone on to something better, why not Bill. At least he has held an elective office or two.

    December 9, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. jcow

    Is there anyone out there who is actually qualified and wants the job? I can't believe this is what our politics has come to – The Illinois governor trying to sell Obama's seat and now Caroline and Fran looking for the NY seat. Is it any wonder our Congress is bereft of leadership. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to my nightmare....

    December 9, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Burt

    Whatever floats your boat, New York. The rest of us don't care.

    December 9, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Oh god. Message to Mrs. Clinton>>>> Please do not resign your job , if these are the people we are going to stuck with.

    December 9, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Kevin Indy

    I think the governor should sell the seat to the highest bidder.

    December 9, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. RW

    She would be great.

    December 9, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Don

    Aren't Sonny Bono, Nancy (Miss Jane) Culp, Fred (Gopher) Grandy enough to convince us that the last thing we shaping policy and legislation is another washed up Hollywood actor?

    December 9, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Lois

    Well heck - why not Rosie O'Donnell or Roseanne Barr? If you are going to drag the bottom of the barrel, might as well go all the way.

    December 9, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Sherri

    If she is qualified, she should be considered. We have a tough time in this country separating reality from fiction when it comes to actors. The "Nanny" is a role, and it certainly does not define Ms. Drescher.

    I support Caroline Kennedy at this point, but anyone interested should have an opportunity to make their case.

    December 9, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. MarkC

    She's as qualified as Sara palin

    December 9, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Larry

    Are there some unemployed people with some administrative experience wanting to be considered for this position-celebrities, I wouldn't think are the best people for the job of Senator.

    December 9, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Joel In Corona

    Better than a career politician.

    December 9, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Go Fran!

    I've actually heard her speak about her desire to pursue politics, but did not know that she was so serious. This would be a huge move from having a heart's desire to actually occupying a senate seat. But no way, no how can she ever be compared to stupid Sarah Palin, never! She may not necessairly qaulify for the position, but she dosen't deserve to be called names like Sarah Palin, that's fowl!

    December 9, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. bb

    Don't be so shallow and make stupid cracks about her voice (especially since she didn't even use her natural voice for The Nanny!); she knows her stuff, really seems to care about people and so far has been a good diplomat. I'd take her over yet another member of the "royal family."

    December 9, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. SlowGun

    Why would she want Hillary's seat...personally, I think she has a better looking seat than Hillary's.

    December 9, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Sophie

    Carolyn Maloney is the best choice to replace Clinton. She has experience and credibility. She's not just a dynasty name.

    December 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Wouldn't you just love to see a debate between Palin and the Nanny at some point in the future? That would be "must see" TV.

    December 9, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. norb

    Al Franken, Jessie Ventura, Ahnold the Terminator, I can see clearly now, Palin,,,,,,,,,,,the list goes on. The commedian's that are in office now, haven't done much better have they?

    December 9, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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