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. Brittany R

    I do not see any reason why Fran Drescher should not be allowed to show interest in the position simply because she was an actress. Plenty of high ranking public officials (Re: Reagan, Ventura, F. Thompson, Schwarzenegger) all were show-biz before leading in the public eye.

    Qualified is a relative term. Does a name make you more qualified?

    December 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Georgia Gal

    Have you ever heard her talk ... PERIOD??

    Gosh that voice is annoying.

    December 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Virginia

    Oh my!

    December 9, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Barbara

    Not Caroline Kennedy!

    December 9, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Jen

    Why not?!! Seems you can't trust anyone on those high seats anymore. We need some new blood in there and make things happen. I'd vote for Fran over a Kennedy. Maybe she doesn't have enough know how BUT she can learn. I'm sure alot of them in there have learn hands on.

    December 9, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Fed up

    She's just as qualified as any other Democrat in Congress. She probably thinks she knows how to run the auto industry too. Overall I'm happy about all the Representatives and Senators Obama is moving to the Executive branch. Unfortunately it looks like their replacements will be just as bad. What a bunch of morons.

    December 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Godluvr

    Caroline Kennedy is more than a name! Take the time and read her resume, and stop sounding ignorant and undereducated!

    Fran? Please! You have never convinced me that you are a serious actress; I have no confidence in you being a serious candidate for that prestigious office! Trust me; I mean no disrespect, but you are not in the ball park!

    December 9, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. DX in TX

    Don't laugh, there was a time we laughed at Arnold Schwarzenegger!
    You go it Franny, just don't use that annoying voice from the "Nanny!"

    December 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Hmmmm

    She may do a better job than her predecessor.

    December 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Nathan,

    CSpan's ratings would go up.

    December 9, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. CV

    I'm glad that Scott seems to think looks are the standard by which we should judge women's qualifications for major public office. Paris Hilton for senate! How could we go wrong?

    December 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. karen-phoenix

    No–she's another Palin!!! Caroline Kennedy–Yes, yes, yes!!!! She's ready to take up where her Dad left off!!!

    December 9, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. IRISH

    I would like to see Fran Drescher be the next senator from New York. I have heard her talk politics and she is a very smart, well spoken woman. I think she is just as qualified as Caroline Kennedy. I think the Kennedy name has been used enough. If a Kennedy is qualified for a job, fine, let them run as a legitimate candidate. Don't try to push the name by getting an appointment.

    December 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Deb, Oklahoma

    Fran would be much better than Kennedy. I would hate to see the seat go to Caroline who has so bitterly opposed Senator Clinton's bid for President. Much rather see Robert Kennedy than Caroline!

    December 9, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Lyndon from CA

    Fran Drescher as junior senator from New York; I think her resume comes up a bit short.

    December 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. sg

    Good – The last thing we need is another Kennedy in Washington.

    December 9, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. chris @ stl

    Me too .... I just sent in my request to Mr. Patterson!
    My fellow bloggers .... please pull for me!!

    December 9, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. Gina, Baltimore, Maryland

    Okay, I thought Kennedy was ridiculous. But the Nanny? Come on people. This is not like a reality show, it is a reality show. This is a slap in the face of all the serious contenders who have experience. And it's a slap in the face to Hillary. I may as well run for the office myself. Give me a break.

    December 9, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. JJ in NY

    OH, P-U-L-E-A-S-E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just shut up and go away .

    December 9, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Jacob

    Fran "09 🙂

    December 9, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Steve from Castle Rock, CO

    No experience in politics. No management experience. No known capacity to lead. If I was a New Yorker, I would be furious that she even thought she was capable of representing me.

    December 9, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. Preston


    December 9, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. EW

    I would rather cop my own head off with arusty machete than have ANOTHER Kennedy in the Senate. Kennedys are teh family of 'mysterious' deaths, corruption and greed.

    For all of you union workers out there – remember what John and Bobby did to Hoffa? The corruption of the Kennedys makes Hoffa look like a saint.

    December 9, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. A Canuck

    Puleeze....don't "Palen " the position !!! ..... It should go to Caroline Kennedy your homework......she is educated , intelligent and has been active in many good causes all her a quiet low key manner.....and being a Kennedy can't hurt !!

    December 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |

    I say give it to her, she is not ambitious, nor did she endorse a candidate hoping to get a Caroline and that big headed Kennedy man did...anyone but them....did they not tout, CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE more more eat your heart out Kennedy' more Kennedy's!

    December 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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