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. 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 |
  2. Joe

    I dono, I think the thoughts of a Fran Filibuster could force tons of Repubs to resign. Could this be the first step towards a 100% Democratic Congress?

    December 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Artrina

    She's no less qualified than some people who want the job. Paterson needs to appoint someone who's actually been north of NY City. Clinton may have been a carpetbagger when she first decided to run for the office, but, she at least has been to every county in NY several times a year – unlike many people who want the job.

    December 9, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. J.P.

    Please don't... I think she's cute in an annoying sort of way. I'd hate to have have to stop liking her because she may have some hippie political bend.

    December 9, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Dave

    She has just as much experience as Obama. NONE

    December 9, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Obama4me

    SHE HAS A REGULAR VOICE PEOPLE. She was acting when she uses "the Nanny" voice. I say give her a chance. Let her do the talkshow circuit to see what she has too offer. Lord knows if folks can give Sarah Palin a chance...anyone should get a shot.

    December 9, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Alan

    She's be great !

    December 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. more like palin

    she needs to demonstrate that she is more than her characters

    December 9, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. theresa rossi

    The nanny should keep her day job. I follow politics considerably, and I HAVE NEVER, NEVER heard of Fran Drescher doing any work to benefit others. On the other hand, Caroline Kennedy has been committed to raise funds for New York City public schools and other important endeavors with the most dignity, serenity and poise.
    Neil Diamond was right, she is "Sweet Caroline", but effective I must add. Caroline will be the greatest senator NY deserves.
    Let's support Caroline Kennedy all the way for many, many years to come.

    December 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. paul

    The fact is any one that hates the KENNEDY's just happens to know them very well.

    if you like them so much how would you like to go for a car rife with Teddy?

    December 9, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Mj TX

    l cannot stand her voice. Oh and yes her real voice sounds the same. One time she was on Larry King and that is the same laugh very annoying. l really think that, it is just a joke.

    That senate seat was for JFK, Robert K, and it should go to Carolyn Kennedy.

    December 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Daniel

    To Amber:

    I think being a lawyer is leaps and bounds more of a qualification then what anything Fran could muster.

    December 9, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. HelpTheAmericanPeople

    I will take Caroline Kennedy over the Nanny.
    She would make a great Progressive US Senator and she has my support.

    December 9, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. nclaw441

    She has at least as much experience as the former occupant of the junior Senator's seat from Illinois.

    December 9, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Allen

    Fran is awesome! You go girl.....Fran would have been a better choice for president, than obama. Her and Sarah Palin should run together. They are both GREAT women. Women power rules!

    December 9, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Lia

    To Dignity & Intelligence in Office Please – Fred Thompson was in politics and held an elected office before he went into television.

    Why so much hate on this board towards Fran Dresher. She may not be the best pick, but she is better then many out there. Why not pick someone who isn't a career politician who has done something good for other people.

    Sure Fran was "The Nanny" – a character she played on a TV show. But this woman also has business acumen and has used her brains and success to really help others. More than can be said about many of our politicians today. In addition to women's health, she has been and advocate against violence – having been a rape victim herself. I wouldn't mind seeing someone in a senate seat who has actually done something that directly affects others than some of the other jokers that are up there.

    December 9, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Michael M. Noonan

    What about Cjarlie Rangel, the ponderous Mario Cuomo, perhaps you could dig up Adam Clayton Powell.

    December 9, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. TJ, TACOMA

    I just have 2 words... Cou-gar!!!!! (ok, 2 syllables) Wow, it's a crazy time in politics when Fran Drescher is actuall being considered for a seat in the U.S. Senate. She definetely looks better than the rest of the stiffs you always see. Fine by me.

    December 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Yes For Fran

    WOW. I'd love to see a contest between her and Palin. Everyone would be conflicted - wouldn't know WHO to vote for!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Otis

    Honestly, this should be decided via a special election now. All we're seeing is power play after power play where governors can skirt the laws by picking jokes like Caroline Kennedy or The Nanny.

    Put the power of whom should represent citizens in the hands of citizens. If not, governors would love to become rich by picking their state's next senator (see Illinois).

    December 9, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Joseph IRAQ WAR VET

    Fran why dont you run for town council first instead of trying to jump to the top of the ladder first.

    December 9, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Oklatom

    This can't be allowed to happen. If it does, it may set a precedent, and the next thing you know we'd get Jessie Ventura as governor of Minnesota and the terminator as governor of California!

    December 9, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Top of the ladder

    To Joseph IRAQ WAR VET - Hmmm, you mean the way Hillary jumped to the top of the ladder by running for SENATOR FROM NEW YORK??? You mean that way?

    December 9, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. California Gold

    The anthesis of a leader. She can't even act well.

    December 9, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. Jerry

    What a joke! Caroline kennedy for NY Senator (qualifications: straight A's in Kindergarten) and Fran (NO qualifications). And the media was SOooo concerned Palin was not qualified!

    December 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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