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. Bert

    Well....Obama got elected and he had no experience either.

    December 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Nola

    Please give us a break – we have more than enough wackies in the Senate. It is time that we elect individuals that can comprenhive a bill and then be able to see that the bill will not damage the people of this country. Just look at the staus to this country today – we have a President that doesn't and cannot understand anything that would help main street – just things that would benefit his rich friends – wall street and oil companies.

    December 9, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. 1/20/13

    I think she is more qualified then the other nim rod the Dems are pushing for in Franken.....You dems truly are the laughing stock of politics

    December 9, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Baze

    What's with all of these actors seeking Congressional seating? Do they think politics are a joke?

    December 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. 1/20/13

    From the party that gave us Bonnie Fwank, Dodd, Pelosi, Reid and Franken she would be an improvement

    December 9, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Chava

    That "nanny" voice is all you can say about an intelligent woman? Ms Drescher only used it for the TV show. Have you ever heard her Real voice? It's smooth and pleasant to the ear.
    Judge this young woman by the ideals she believes in and the work she has done.
    Ms Kennedy only has "the name"; no substance. A typical Kennedy!

    December 9, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Bubba

    Wow! What a bad idea! What about appointing Triumph the Insult Dog instead, or Mork from Ork?

    December 9, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Wait..."The Nanny" was a comedy?

    December 9, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. Mark

    Oh great – another TV star that wants to play politics. She has no experience like some other guy – oh yeah, that would be Obama.

    December 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. CB2

    I would so NO, just because her voice is so annoying. Sorry, but it is:-(

    December 9, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Don't laugh about Fran Drescher. She's a very astute business woman. She wasn't just the zany actress in The Nanny, she was also the executive producer of that show as well as others. She's sort of a Lucille Ball kind of person– she could be a total screwball on screen playing a part, but behind the scenes she's a smart & tough business woman. I'd never thought of her as a political candidate, but why not? She's as bright & as qualified as many of the others either seeking that seat or already filling other Senate/House seats.

    December 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Agnes Fleming

    With no disrespect to Fran, since I do not know the woman, please, could we take politics out of the comedy hour and get serious.

    December 9, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Dexter Skagway

    I am holding out for Paris Hilton.

    December 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. PK California

    Anything is possible! In the US! But I would choose Caroline over Fran on the experience issue. Caroline has a life made up of politics. Despite her soft spoken exterior, I'm sure she wouldn't seek this job because she thinks it would be easy. She knows the ins and outs which would be very helpful and her dedication is unquestioned. On the other hand, Fran has no political experience and would not serve NY well, despite her well meaning intentions. Having had cancer does not qualify you for the Senate. She should use her celebrety to raise awareness and money. In the Senate her cause would fall on deaf ears.

    December 9, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Democrat Against Pelosi

    If she has the credentials...I'd like to hear her argument...but, I'm thinking she's going to have a hard time against the Kennedy establishment.

    December 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. shucks

    Fran Drescher has been active in politics since her show was over. She has been a staunch advocate for women's health, and has been a public diplomacy envoy for the US State Department. Her knowledge of politics and foreign affairs far outweighs that of Gov. Palin. Drescher is an extremely smart woman, who has made millions in investments and was known as a very shrewd business woman. She has very little personal baggage, and would be given the postion on her merits, as opposed to as a familial favor. I would prefer an incredibly smart independent woman in this office than a political insider.

    December 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. Here we go...

    This is kinda funny. How come other jobs have qualifications that are specific, like certain degrees and what not. I think a bacc education and grad/law/medical education OR 8 years military should be the minimum requirements as well as a minimum of 2 years of direct public service, or 4 years as a professor or something where you impact minds or help the community. Not star power, looks, not "highly nasal laughs", "gotcha gee gollies" or "joe anybodies". It's nuts that Fran should be Senator. I did like the show The Nanny but come on now. What do you all think about that? If it comes down to these two, I will take Kennedy any day. She is still more astute and honestly, since we have to hear politicians talk, her voice is more pleasant. Haha.

    December 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. NCM


    What is laughable is that you (New Yorkers) elected Hilary Clinton a non-New Yorker to represent you. Fran is a smart women, and would be for New York.

    December 9, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. For Fran

    I'm for Fran - those who voted for Hillary knew her stand to get us universal health care. My husband has cancer, I have hoped that her replacement would be someone who would care about cancer and our health system. I do not think Obama is ready to go to universal care yet so I would like to see someone in the Senate who is open to it. Thank you.

    December 9, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. vjunior

    Heck, why not. Just another Hollywood entertainer/non-supporter of the US. She can join the ranks of Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springstein, Jane Fonda, etc.

    December 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Peter

    "Only serious candidates need apply. . . "

    You mean like serious CAREER politicians, the kinds the Republican party has been breeding for generations and who have run this country into the ground???? KUDOS to change and KUDOS to Fran for throwing her hat into the ring.

    Anyone who HASN'T heard her talk politics needs to youtube search will be impressed.....

    December 9, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Walt, Belton,TX

    Why not? She's as qualified, if not more, that any other Senator from New York the past twenty years..................

    December 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Edwin

    What a joke, and that annoying laugh....

    December 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Cathy

    You would think in that entire article they would have outlined Fran Drescher's educational background to support her qualifications for the position, other than her involvement as an advocate for women's health issues, etc. Surely some routine educational standards must be in place for this position, but I didn't see that she had them!

    December 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. Matt


    Cut the crap.

    December 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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