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. BigVin

    Fran has just as much experience as Lady Clinton and Caroline combined...after all Lady Clinton had tea and cookies with the wives of many foreign leaders.

    December 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. Cicily

    If Fran's in we'll have the shortest filibusters in history!!

    December 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. AJNYC

    Why not Fran? So what if she's an actress and has a funny voice. We've had (elected) politicians playing footsie with men in airport bathrooms.

    Fran has done a lot more for women's health than Caroline Kennedy has ever done. Who cares about Caroline's name. What are we doing, shopping for a name-brand handbag over here?

    And what's with getting another Kennedy into office. Um, I thought we got rid of that sort of thing back in 1776.

    It never ceases to amaze me how we ousted the royal family yet the American people can't seem to get enough of political families. We may as well bring back the king and queen.

    December 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Mike

    anyone who thinks FRAN friggin DRESHER is qualified or should get this U.S. SENATE Seat becuase she is a "Health Advocate" is a low grade moron. It's going to dicey enough with another inexperienced Pres. in the White House, now people think a HOLLYWOOD actress should be a senator???

    No wonder we're going down the tubes.

    December 9, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. OB

    Frankly, I think that it is an insult to the process that the next Senator from New York will be appointed rather than elected. I think this is causing some consternation in the public and this might be from where the "gossip coverage" of this seat is coming.

    December 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Angel

    Oh that voice but i love your humor.....

    December 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  7. Laverne

    Come on! First Arnold Swartzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Al Franken and now Fran Drescher, give me a break! These people should stick to what they know. No wonder the world does not take us seriously!

    December 9, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. pat C.

    this is becoming a comedy hour. caroline kennedy is the best choice for the job and will carry on her family legacy. the nanny would only make the position a reality show and frankly after sarah palin we have realitied out!

    December 9, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. tmg

    NO WAY!!!!

    Caroline Kennedy will be a better fit!!!!

    December 9, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. mary force

    i'll take fran d over kennedy any day. fran is looking out for us. watch one of her interviews. yeah, she's an actress, but to be honest, aren't all politicians? fran is sincere and everything she says comes from the heart. you know she has a heart. give her a chance. dont just say no because of that tv show. a lot of things have happened to her throughout her life. i think she should be given the position and given the chance to show us what she can do for new york.

    December 9, 2008 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Lisa V

    Even though I would prefer C. Kennedy, I would take Fran D. over Palin any day; Drescher is certainly more qualified than Palin.

    December 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Scott, West Chester, OH

    That voice alone should disqualify her.

    December 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Tap-fan in Philadelphia

    And what would be so wrong with Bobbi Flekman in the Senate? Her role as a promoter with Polymer Records back in the day gave her great national exposure. Add to that the fact that she was charming when she needed to be and a straight-shooter when the situation demanded it.

    All kidding aside, what's so wrong with a concerned citizen (who also happens to be an actress/comedienne) wanting to play a role in our national government?! I would be inclined to trust that sort of candidates motivations moreso than any other political climber. Once upon a time there was no such thing as a career politician. Senators and representatives served their terms in Washington DC because it was in the public interest. Then, after their terms were up they went back to their home states and their real lives.

    December 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. S.M

    Just because you're a well known actress doesn't mean that you are qualified for the position. But hey, if our current president can be stupid and still elected Commander and Chief, than why not Fran. She may be a whole lot smarter than Bush.

    December 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. CanIcallyouJoe


    December 9, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. jon

    she has every right to run for the position, she is just a thinking human being like you and me. although i do agree that her voice would drive me insance if i had to listen to her testify. like nails on a chalkboard

    December 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. Peggy - TX

    If Shara Palin can run for VP, then Fran Drescher can run for the Senate. Good for her to strive to do public service and much to my shock, she may could just turn out to be very effective in that role. Fran Drescher is far lacking in qualifications to justify being appointed to the Senate; unlike Caroline Kennedy who is the obviouse choise.

    December 9, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Mike, Syracuse NY

    No more wacky than Al Franken in MN.

    December 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Keith in CA

    Sonny Bono, Gopher from Love Boat and Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard have served in the House of Representatives. Al Franken ran for the Senate. Now the Nanny wants to be a senator. What is it about Congress that attracts comedians? Hmmm.

    December 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Jim

    Why not? She is just as qualified as Caroline Kennedy. For that matter, why not appoint Babs Streisand, Tim Robbins or any other person with name recognition? Or maybe, just maybe we should expect someone who has an actual record of accomplishment. ......Naaah, why start now?

    December 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  21. Sparky

    Is Fran Drescher any less qualified than Caroline Kennedy?

    December 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  22. Karen, Arkansas

    Well if Sarah Palin was a viable candidate for VP...why not Dresher for the senate?
    I myself would much rather the seat be filled by Kennedy.

    December 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. CT Reader

    How great would this be for television? Imagine the skits that could be done on “Saturday Night Live”….I would watch every week!!

    December 9, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Looking for Truth

    Would only be an improvement over any Kennedy. Even JFK was not all that

    December 9, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. Terry, Butte, Mt

    God no, I can not stand her voice. It is squeeky like Palins...

    My vote is for Caroline Kennedy.

    December 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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