December 9th, 2008
11:44 AM ET
5 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. Jim C

    What has Caroline Kennedy ever done that would make her qualified to be a US Senator?

    December 9, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Bruce

    Has even one person besides myself bothered to consider that you are not filing the seat with a character in a TV show but with The Very Real Fran Drescher. Google her and while your at it Google Caroline Kennedy.

    Then you would be qualified to state an intelligent opinion instead of most of what we read above.

    December 9, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Chipster

    It's really no wonder our country is in such trouble when so many people can't even tell the difference between a TV character and the smart, talented, intelligent, REAL woman who brought the role to life. Get a grip on reality people!

    Carolina Kennedy, Drescher, Franken: these are not the people that the public has "pigeon-holed" into their one dimensional public roles. They are educated, experienced, and capable. This is not reality TV. It is real life and they are real people with serious skills. Get away from the TV long enough to recognize the difference please.

    December 9, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. PAUL ROSA

    P.S. FRAN ROCKS !

    December 9, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Larree

    Wow, the inmates really are running the asylum!. With a dumbed- down populous not even realizing the peril they are in, can the end be far behind? Not long in my estimation.

    December 9, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. anonymous too

    "The Nanny" was a comedy but then, so is politics!! and her running for the Senate seat is about as hilarious as who this country put in the White House! WHAT A JOKE!

    December 9, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Anne

    If an individual feels confident in their skills and ability to perform in this position, I say go for it. As much as I would love to see the Kennedy legacy continue...

    Look at President elect Obama...if you believe you can do the job...

    GO FOR IT!!!

    My hats off to Ms. Drescher and Ms. Kennedy...may the best woman win!

    December 9, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. William

    Just what we need – another actor/actress in the government! You'd think that people would have learned after seeing what Gov. Arnie has done with California.

    December 9, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Trifling and RIDICULOUS. She was interviewed a couple of times during the Primaries and once maybe during the general by Larry King and this qualifies her to run for Senate? 'fraid not, Frannie. What makes celebs think they can be politicians after a minute as a "pundit"? The only celeb with the brains, chops, dedication and actual CONCERN about something as serious as what senators would take on is Robert Redford, and he wouldn't take a job like Senator, since he is so devoted to the environment and the land itself.

    December 9, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    2 words for ya.....Sonny Bono

    December 9, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Joseph IRAQ WAR VET

    AMBER IS REALLY A REPUBLICAN, ANYONE WHO HATES THE KENNEDY'S IS A REPUBLICAN!

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. irish

    Fran D is not what you think she is. She is not a stupid women. She is very smart and savvy. She is very smart on alot issues, especially women's issues. I have seen her in many interviews when talking politics and she is no dud! She speaks very well with intelligence. Her voice was a character that she was playing, that is not her real voice. So stop with the whinney voice thing. Youtube her and you will hear her real voice. I would vote for her over Caroline K. Caroline K can only ride on her name. That's it!! I think we have had enough of Kennedy's to last a lifetime.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    hmmmm, Caroline Kennedy, Fran Drescher (picture weighing the merits of one vs. the other in your opposing hands)...KENNEDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The fact that a comparison even needs to be made is silly, but I had to use a visual aid to exaggerate what a joke even considering Drescher vs. someone like Kennedy is.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. susan

    @ The Pecan State Pundit – Colbert the person lives in NJ and would therefore be ineligible. Colbert the fictional character depicted on tv by the real live Colbert lives in CT and would therefore also be ineligible.

    Not sure where Jon Stewart lives though... That could be interesting.

    As for Drescher, she's a savvy, articulate, and intelligent business woman and her "real voice" is very normal sounding. She has a bit part in Saturday Night Fever and you can hear her almost normal voice there (I think she laid the accent on a little extra heavy but no nasal).

    Anyhooo – why not? And if there is ever a filibuster I'm sure her recital of the phone book would actually be funny – especially if she pulled out all of her various voices and accents.

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Bridgette-PA

    She gets my vote under one condition......NO TALKING OR LAUGHING!

    December 9, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Tammy

    Chava –

    You're sadly mistaken about Fran Drescher's voice ...

    Her REAL voice IS the nasally twang ...

    She went to elocution school to learn "how to" talk without it ...

    But, she chose to use her real voice because it's the one that producers want her to use ...

    Gov Paterson should pick Rudy Guiliani ... At least he lives in New York as opposed to Ms Drescher (whose main residence is in Los Angeles) ...

    December 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. pauld

    I'll trade you John Kerry and a bag of bubble gum for ......all I know is 01/20/2013 can't get here fast enough.

    December 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Anne in Columbia, MD

    Fran Drescher is NOT her character(s).
    Caroline Kennedy is NOT her father OR her mother.
    'Nuff said.

    December 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Godluvr

    Also, where was her voice when Speculations first began? It's like she didn't get her blind ambition until Caroline Kennedy's name was mentioned! Is she really a democrat, or is she playing one?

    December 9, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Gail

    Only two candidates get my vote:
    Jerry Nadler (the amazing brainiac effective congressman from NY), or
    Fran Drescher, the amazing smart accomplished health advocate.

    December 9, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. nate

    What hath Palin wrought?

    December 9, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. C

    She's more qualified than Sarah Palin

    December 9, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Tony

    How about getting some upstaters in the mix. Put Rep. Higgins in for Hillary!

    December 9, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Independent Voter

    I think folks need to listen to her before you judge her. You maybe surprised.

    December 9, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. G NJ

    I recently heard her speak about being named a State Department public envoy and quite honestly I was impressed. She is a very intelligent woman and handled herself and the interview very well. Maybe she can give Palin a few pointers..

    December 9, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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