December 9th, 2008
11:44 AM ET
7 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. Independent for Obama

    Fran Drescher and Caroline Kennedy are the Liberal versions of Sarah Palin.....very likeable, very sweet, very pretty,....and totally unqualified for the job.
    Jenn, Springfield MA

    December 9, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Independent for Obama

    Fran Drescher and Caroline Kennedy are the Liberal versions of Sarah Palin.....very likeable, very sweet, very pretty,....and totally unqualified for the job.
    Jennifer Springfield MA

    December 9, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Naomi

    I think she has what it takes. Everyone doubted Hillary and look at what she accomplished. Fran Drescher is just as ballsy and smart, and I believe she can do a lot for the state.

    December 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. GeneS in STL

    If she doesn't get the New York nomination, she can always try for the vacant Illinois seat. I heard it's up for sale.

    December 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  5. Bambi

    I don't think either one of them are qualified!

    December 9, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. thuff

    Fran Drescher is the only choice, as Urkel from Family Matters is currently working on another project believe it or not.

    December 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. paul (staunch Moderate)

    Do not discount Fran Drescher simply because she had a starring role on a television sitcom. She's a bright, savvy woman who is more than capable. And the voice she used in the sitcom is not her real voice – it's called acting!

    With so many career politicians being accused of corruption or already convicted I'd welcome someone like Fran.

    December 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. grahame

    Good. We need intelligent women in government. While I'm about it.
    Sarah Palin????????????????????????????????????????????no

    December 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Arun Pillai


    December 9, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Katie

    I am trying to be open-minded, and not blame her a) for being a celebrity b) playing an annoying part. That said, I saw her interviewed on Larry King during the Obama vs Hillary period, and she seemed stupid. Granted I am anti-Hillary, but of all of the pro-Hillary supporters I saw interviewed, Fran Drescher was the least articulate and (seemingly) the least qualified to give an opinion. Now the Senate???

    December 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |


    December 9, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Mary

    What a clown–it's not funny, Fran. Why not DO something to EARN publicity, instead of cheaply kiting on a news event?

    Sleazeblall. Shame on you.

    December 9, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Trasa, Texas

    I'm fine with Fran Drescher wanting to be the Senator of NY. And Caroline is great too. Both are strong women and I'm not going to discriminate Fran's voice either. We are who we are, that's the end of it.

    December 9, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Monica

    I don't think you can judge someone based on a character they played. She isn't a dummy. Let's hear what she has to say. If she is Palin-like forget it; if she is Clinton-like well that's not a bad thing.

    December 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Jeff

    I really think celebrities need to stick to what they do best... act and sing. Their lives have reached a pinnacle and they want to do more so they go into politics. It's selfish and not for the people. Frankly, it's almost disgusting.

    December 9, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. The National Nightmare is Over!


    I was born and raised in Brooklyn and even I cannot stand her accent!

    December 9, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. Susan

    You go girl! Fran Drescher is not any thing like the ditz she portrayed in the Nanny. She is a smart lady who knows what she is talking about. If Al Franken can run and be taken seriously, then why not Fran Dresher? Is this another example of double standards in politics? You have my vote Fran!

    December 9, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Jo

    It sucks that Americans don't already know the other side of Ms. Drescher. She's actually much more knowledgable and savy than the average citizen.

    December 9, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. ErikS.

    Well, they are both actresses, and I mean, c'mon, she can't do any worse thean Hillary did. Has ANYONE looked at what Hillary has done in her Senate run? Nothing. All she did was position herself for a position of power. Remember she was not going to run for President? Why do you all get suckered by this woman?

    December 9, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Michael M. Noonan

    Why not? She is no more annoying that most New York liberals.

    December 9, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. joann

    What a Joke. Then again, does Arnold Swartznagger ring a bell.

    December 9, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Cindy Nelson

    I just cant take Fran Drescher seriously. Sorry, but I may hate her voice more than I hate Sarah Palin's.
    I support Caroline Kennedy for the position.
    Let's be serious, shall we?

    December 9, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Jennifer

    Oh good grief are you serious! I think the US Government has put enough idiots in office..lets hope this doesn't happen..

    December 9, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. Rumsfeld

    Just another entertaining day from congressional and state never ends. Why should we ever expect it to end??

    December 9, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Marco in AZ

    Her real voice is NOT the one she used on television,...but it is still pretty annoying.

    That said, what are her qualifications?

    How will she work with others, regardless of their polictical affiliation.

    Even if she is "a very astute business woman", what makes her more qualified?

    That is what we should be asking.

    This is a big senate seat, and I'd like someone with a bit more experience to fill the role until someone provides some information or reasons why she should be seriously considered.

    December 9, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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