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. Christopher, Louisville

    Yeah, well I want to sing like Patti LaBelle too, but that isn't going to happen either.

    December 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Julie from MD

    All persons who are qualified should be allowed to throw their hat in the ring, including Fran. I hope that if Caroline Kennedy is picked to replace Hillary, that she is picked fairly ,and not because her Uncle bribed the NY governor.

    December 9, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Marc in Virginia

    What qualifies Kennedy over anyone else? Seriously? She hasn't earned the right but hey, I guess the time has come for Obama to repay all of his favors. This is what happens when you install a celebrity in the White House instead of someone truly deserving.

    December 9, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Scott NYC Independent

    Is she aware that New York requires that she would have to do some real work to be electable in a couple of years?

    December 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. C.B. in New Orleans

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.......I needed a really GOOD laugh today. Now I'm shaking my head. With all due respect, Fran Drescher in the Senate.......I don't think so.

    December 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Meh

    Oh, heck no. Who next? Florence Henderson?

    December 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Are you really surprised by a celebrities ego??

    Will Smith........yes the "Fresh Prince of Bel-air" actually said that he could have a shot at becoming President!!!

    Hollywood celebrities are full of themselves and think the entire country wants them involved in everything.

    Actors are over rated attractive people who should mean nothing to the average American.

    December 9, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. kellsbells

    **she's actually a lot smarter than her character would ever suggest, and probably smarter than many current senate seats...

    December 9, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. lori

    Why do actors think they can be politicians too? Whatever.

    December 9, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Francisco Cardenas

    Since Caroline Kennedy didn't support Hillary ... and the voters actually voted for Hillary twice ... why would you replace her with someone who doesn't agree with her. The replacement should be someone who shares the same ideas and values ... after all, that's what the voters wanted. Other than coming out in support of Obama early on, what has Kennedy done?

    December 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. Matt

    Everyone seems to forget that people joked about Reagan running for President because he was an actor. And look what happened: he turned out to be the greatest President we've had in decades.

    December 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. RPL

    Uh, puhleeeze.

    Caroline Kennedy would get my vote

    December 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Sunny H

    Fabulous! I'll vote for her! Fran's a real New Yorker and we could use a few more of them in DC.

    Kennedy did support Obama which I give her credit for, but I don' t think she'd make a good senator. I think she's too quiet. She's been reticent to speak or get publicly involved in politics before now and I haven't see anything to convince me that she would stand up for us as Senator.

    December 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. danbie

    I always thought she was a real hottie despite the voice. Voice and looks shouldn't matter though, as long as she does better than HILLARY........which shouldn't be very difficult.

    December 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. BJ

    She is more qualified than Caroline Kennedy...

    December 9, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. justobserve

    If her real voice is not as it is in The Nanny then it is OK but if it isn't then imagine having a Senate debate with that voice turns everything into a joke. That is too funny to take her seriously.

    December 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Noah

    Why not, there's really no difference experience-wise to her and Hillary Clinton 8 years ago when she ran for the seat.

    December 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Marian

    oh no. first you people bash sarah palin on every aspect of her life and now you're gung-ho about fran drescher and caroline kennedy. fools.

    December 9, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Claire

    While Caroline Kennedy may have helped sprinkle the family name around to help elect Barack Obama, to me, she the warmth and appeal of dry toast. She has always struck me as an elitist, someone not of the people. She is cold and aloof as her late mother, giving the impression that she is above the rest of us. While she might have name recognition and star power, I can't see how she could carry out constitutent relations well.

    Fran Drescher may be the other extreme, but having heard hear speak articulately on serious topics, she comes across as much more real and engaging.

    While I can't say that I endorse Drescher, I must say that the Kennedys exude an entitlement to these plum jobs...and it's off-putting.

    December 9, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Garry

    If you have listened to her you would realize this is one smart woman who knows her poitics.
    She is savvy and she knows how to handle herself. I say more power to her and I wish her the best. We do not need another kennedy in the senate.
    I say to FD, you go and I hope you win!

    December 9, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Los

    No, sorry. As admirable as her work on health issues may be, she is not qualified to be a senator.

    December 9, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. JJ12345

    Maybe ARod is available

    December 9, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Gaurang (India)

    Her nasal twang will definitely do wonders for the State of NY

    December 9, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. andrea from MA

    fran dresher would be an awesome senator she went to 15 doctors and they kept telling her there was nothing wrong when she had cancer !!!!!!!!! this is how bad our health system is. just triage they let the old die and only save the young. caroline doesn't need the money she inherited millions. fran dresher is not rich !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. pam Eugene OR

    Come on folks. The laugh and the voice are part of the role she played. She doesn't really sound like that.
    I do prefer Kennedy but Fran is not that bad a choice. These days anyone willing to go through what it requires to serve the public deserves our respect. It is an ugly job with low pay for the public humiliation you get.
    You life gets dragged through the mud.

    December 9, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19