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. wendy

    I have a lot of respect for her. She fought cancer and won. However, I really have an issue with her whiny NJ voice. Unless she can learn sigh language I think she should go in to retail.

    December 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. NY Republican

    Dear Mr. Patterson – Me too! Me too! I need a good job because Hillary and all the other NY Democrats constantly ignore anywhere west of the Hudson!!

    December 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. JFK

    Scott Tucson wrote:

    "Hey why not? She certainly can't do any worst than Chuck Shumer and the other democratic senators, and she's far easier on the eyes than Pelosi and Hillary."

    Are you serious Scott? While I agree on Frans beauty, she probably can do just as a good of job as any senator. But come on, Republicans are the bigger problem since they cant seem to focus on the work at hand. They are too busy taking money from oil companies, making friends with Jack Abramhoff, toe tapping in airport bathrooms, or propositioning their Congressional underage pages. I will take the Democrats ANY day of the week over the corrupt Republicans. And then to claim moral superiority on top of it is just plain laughable. Bring on Fran or Caroline!

    December 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. HouseDiva

    How fitting...The Nanny for the nanny state.

    Thanks.. but no thanks Fran. i like Caroline Kennedy better.

    December 9, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Mike

    I vote for Fran as long as she promises not to LAUGH ! ! !

    December 9, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Thomas

    I would be concerned with a potential candidate who only has a highschool education running for the Senate. I don't know if she even graduated highschool. Her bio only lists that she attended Hillcrest Highschool.

    It is laudable that she is involved in woman's medical issues, but there is more to being a Senator then just having a pet project. What will she do when she has to evaluate something that has nothing to do with woman's medical issues?

    The primary responsibilty of a Senator is to make laws. A Senator should have some education concerning legal matters, in my opinion.

    Ms. Kennedy is much more qualified for the position than Ms. Drescher.

    December 9, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Huh?

    I thought "silly season" was over.

    December 9, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. clifford

    Might as well, Hillary didn't do anything for us here in New York the welfare state.

    December 9, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Donna

    Fran may have great ideas and probably would be a great Senator but would you really want to listen to her voice and that whiny laugh for years to come?

    December 9, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. Jimi NY

    Caroline Kennedy – YES!

    Fran Drescher – GET OVER YOURSELF.

    December 9, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Pat, Nanny Fan, NY

    Before you all post your poo poos on this and make typical knee jerk reactions, if you've never heard her speak on political issues, including health and child advocacy, you would be very surprised as to how increadily informed and yes, well spoken she is on the subjects. She is not the character she portrayed on the Nanny. She is the totall opposite. That said, however, I would prefer someone like Caroline Kennedy who is not only more qualified, but has the political capital of her family to deliver for NY.

    December 9, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Bruce

    She was working on a TV show in Flushing, Queens,
    'Til her network kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.
    What was she to do? Where was she to go? She was out on her fanny...
    So over the bridge from Flushing to the Senate's door.
    She was there to lobby make-up, but Harry Reid saw more.
    She had style! She had flair! She was there.
    That's how she became the appointee!

    Who would have guessed that the girl we've described,
    Was just exactly what Governor Paterson prescribed?
    Now the father finds her beguiling (watch out D.C.!).
    And the Republicans are actually smiling (take that Kennedy!).
    She's the lady in yay when everybody else is voting nay...
    The flashy girl from Flushing, the Senator named Fran!

    December 9, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. george

    Ted Kennedy supported Obama at a very crucial juncture in the primaries, this would be viewed as a pay back even though Obama is not the one to make the decision. Right wing talk radio will be all over this.

    December 9, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. NY Republican

    We NEED someone from upstate NY!!!!!!!!!! One need not look any farther than Galisano for some one that cares about somewhere besides NYC.

    December 9, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. Abyssinian Lion

    Caroline Kennedy...please!

    December 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Laura, Boston

    Why not Fran Drescher? You can't judge a person because she speak with a nasalily type voice. That is redicious! If that were the case than half of America wouldn't qualify for positions.

    She has emerged from "The Nanny" as a serious activist for cancer and I have heard her on interviews and she is one intelligent lady. She is up on all the issues.

    Remember Ronald Regan, Sonny Bono, etc. Don't judge a book by its cover.

    December 9, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Ted Kennedy

    Go Caroline!

    December 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. NYPrincessTt

    Ummm...that's not really her real voice or laugh, so for those of you who would oppose her simply because of that, I guess you will have to come up with something else.

    December 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Kevin in Ohio

    Why not? Experience doesnt matter anymore. If you are a liberal and a known "personality", thats all thats needed.

    December 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. Truth

    For you people criticizing her, remember she is an American citizen just like the rest of us and has the right to run for this position. If she gets elected it is by the will of the voters and you have no room to complain, so just let actions take their course.

    December 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Toby

    Ah, rule by the stars of Bread and Circuses. It makes me nostalgic for the good old days of the Roman Empire.

    December 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Ron


    December 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. Kana

    If Fran Drescher meets the constitutional requirements to run for NYS Senate there's no reason Gov. Patterson should rule her out with out first vetting her.

    If it was an election year Caroline Kennedy would have name recognition in her favor. Just because she is a Kennedy, Gov. Patterson should not give her any special consideration.

    December 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Lynn in NM

    Oh yes! Another actor that thinks they know something about foreign policy. Maybe she can hold a press conference like Babs did after Clinton was elected. What a joke!

    December 9, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. Joyce Becker

    I don't think she stands a chanxce against Caroline Kennedy or others that the Governor Patterson has to choose from.

    December 9, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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