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. The Pecan State Pundit

    What about Steven Colbert? Shouldn't he be considered too?

    December 9, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Great. She's even more annoying than Sarah Palin.

    December 9, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  3. Mike

    Perfect candidate. The US has become a Nanny state. Fran has the qualifications necessary to execute the office of Senator of NY (heck, she has more qualifications than Obama!).

    Now, if we can just appoint Fonzi as Car Czar and perhaps Matt Damon as the new DEA chief we can get this economy back on track. Anyway, if it doesn't work we can always turn back to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd for help – they are experts at economic distruction.

    My apologies to Senator Reid and Nancy Pelosi – but you two are so 1980's and far to outdated to matter in the New Age of Obama and the Zero Qualification But Well Intentioned Generation.

    December 9, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |

    What's next? Britney Spears???

    December 9, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. Peggy the Unemployed

    That is the most ridiculous idea ever. I am not a N.Y. resident, so I really have no business commenting, but Fran Drescher is no more qualified to be Senator than I am. I actually liked the idea of Caroline Kennedy, but the more I see and hear about her, I wonder if she has the "cojones" to do what is needed to be actually elected to the seat.

    December 9, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  6. Georgia Gal

    Oh good grief you've got to be kidding me.

    December 9, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  7. Charlene

    Please decide how many t's are in Pat(t)erson.

    December 9, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  8. Len

    I'd like to throw my hat into the ring. Let's do it. A no holds barred, cage match, winner takes all. We'll make a mint on pay per view!

    December 9, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Sweetie

    I sure would not vote for her!

    December 9, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. carol

    Oh my lord, I hope she is joking....her voice alone would would send them running from the Senate!!!

    December 9, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. Martha

    Oy veh!

    December 9, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Steve B

    The Governor needs to get a hold of this and appoint person with solid credentials quickly. Caroline Kennedy (name only) and now a aging actor?

    December 9, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. Matt

    Both her and Kennedy need to go away and people need to wake up. Rich and famous and/or parents who were...those aren't qualifications for holding office.

    December 9, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. Matt

    Why don't we just send a hat over to Hollywood and have everyone rich imbecile we can find put their name in it? I mean really, apparently the only qualifications you need in this country for holding office are money and fame...maybe a last name like Kennedy too, that seems to help. And while we're at it, why don't we all just stop caring about our children and help Brangelina take care of hers...they're more important than your own kids anyway. And oh yeah, let's fight cancer...not because it matters, but because some famous person has it...AIDS too. UNITED STATES OF HOLLYWOOD.

    December 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. Susan in SC

    The idea of Fran serving in Senate should make Caroline Kennedy look far better to all of the nay-sayers. Caroline Kennedy has the education, the background of a family that is very political, and was raised with a sense of public service. Fran is a TV personality. Come on.

    December 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |


    December 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. The Fab One

    Sure she does. She has about as much chance of getting that one as Sunny von Bulow.

    December 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. globalgroove

    To those trashing Ms Drescher, you only know her from a television sitcom. In REAL life she is not The Nanny. My goodness, you people cannot even differentiate between television and reality.

    December 9, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  19. O & Joe '08!!!

    Amber: So let's automatically disqualify anyone from public office whose family has a legacy of political service! Great idea!


    You sound like just another frustrated Nov 4 voter. You probably are also among the 20% in this country who think Obama is not handling the transition effectively. He will have accomplished MORE by the end of the day on Jan 20 than our current president has in the 8 years since we elected Al Gore.

    December 9, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Amber

    "I like the Kennedy name better" (President Obama/VA, wrote).

    This is exactly my point. We elect officials on aesthetics...what is pleasing to the ear and eye. Caroline Kennedy is only being considered because of her familial name. Likewise, Obama beat Hillary because he was more aesthetically pleasing and "cool" than she appeared.

    Americans are shallow and this proves it! I"m so sick of this...I wish I could leave and go to England or Austrailia. Grow up people and quit basing everying on aesthetics! make me want to puke.

    December 9, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. Dave in Houston

    Why settle for the "Nanny" when we can have the "Supernanny!?"

    Jo Frost for Senate!*

    *provided she has US citizenship.

    December 9, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  22. Jeff Fyke

    Not sure I could handle that.

    December 9, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. Joe Schmo

    It's unfortunate that some has-been celebs, like Frannie the Nanny are even trying to ride Obama's coat tails into Washington. This election seems to be very similar to California's a few years ago. Arnold Schwartzenegger, a porn star and a midget (pardon the politically incorrect term) were running for governor – take your pick. Although her means-well humor was publically accepted as funny about ten years ago, I still don't believe a position in government is her bag.

    December 9, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  24. Former New Yorker

    Wow, are these people serious? Now I remember why I left New York. If only I 1) Has a famous family or 2) Had a sitcom in the 90's, I too could be a Senator. What ever happened to having people representative of the actual populace and that actually have some experience. New York is pitiful if this is the best we can come up with. I have known people smarter than either of these candidates. Kennedy should stay in her guilded mansion her family gave her and Fran should continue doing the good work she is doing, its a lot more than she can ever hope to get done in the Senate.

    December 9, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Frank

    Oh why not, she's as qualified as any other democrat. And the rest of the senate deserves to hear her whine on a continuous basis, it would do them good.

    December 9, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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