December 9th, 2008
11:44 AM ET
5 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. TjayeInLA

    Oh good! She could run now and then beat Palin for President in 8 years. Two annoying voices and one whose shown she has a brain. The other can return to being governor of the Caribou state.

    December 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. ng in dc

    I say great - and people should get to know her accomplishments and skills. She's got a compelling life story, is highly intelligent, and commited to important issues.

    December 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. dolly

    COOOOOOOOOL !!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. Take This Woman Seriously

    Fran Drescher is a woman to be reckoned with. She is highly intelligent. And that voice? IT WAS FAKE! Good grief, she was character acting, give it a break.

    Someone mentioned keeping everone in a binder and taking their time, going through it. GREAT idea. Give all the contenders serious consideration.

    Merry CHRISTmas!

    December 9, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. redneck

    Call up Oprah and appoint her! This country is really going down hill !

    December 9, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley Missouri

    Fran would be a great pick. She's brilliant and very much up on political topics, especially healthcare.

    Those that don't like Caroline though, need to look deeper. She has stayed out of the lime light, raising her kids, and so forth for years... however, she is also a brilliant woman, and has been in charge of various charities and events over the course of her life. She is also quite capable of being a US Senator.

    Either woman would be a brilliant choice for New York. Both are very independent moral people with strong values.

    December 9, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. Eliza

    Oh.My.God.

    Don't we have enough problems as it is???

    December 9, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. change in America

    Dont give it to her I whether have Caroline Kennedy,,,,,,Caroline Kennedy for Senate in NY

    December 9, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. ReasonedTraveler

    Fran Drescher is an accomplished and very intelligent woman who is already involved in government activity. She absolutely should be taken seriously. However, I think that Caroline Kennedy would be an excellenent choice.

    December 9, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Nicole

    Fran D. is a very smart lady and an effective advocate for women's health. i would rather have her than C. kennedy anyday.

    December 9, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Jolene J

    Why not, if Arnold Schwarzenegger can do it, with, "I'll be back"!

    December 9, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Mike H.

    Why not ,she's just about as qualified as Caroline Kennedy, i.e. not at all.

    December 9, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Denver Dem

    Ilike the idea of her nagging the repugs out of filibusters, and any other stupid crap they try pulling this year. You know what I say lets do it.

    December 9, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Chip

    Why not? She was an actress in another life. The only people in this world that can govern don't happen to be lawyers. That's what the majority of our current Congress is and you see where that's gotten us.

    What made Hillary Clinton so eminently qualified? A law degree? Please!

    December 9, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. Barbara

    I believe she is intelligent and at least as qualified as Caroline
    Kennedy...to boot she really sounds like a "new Yawka" ...
    If Arnold Schwartzenegger is being considered as energy secretary
    we should be careful not to have double standards about speech and accents.. Obama is articulate enough to carry any flaws in that department. This admnistration will be about so much more
    I like both of these possibilities... refreshing and honest....
    bispartisan and energetic !

    December 9, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. PeaceProsperityLove

    Oyyy....we have enough actors in the senate who are not nessa very good at it. JUST SAY NO TO FRAN-NANNY.

    December 9, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Franky

    Somebody tell Drescher that being a politician is not like working in Hollwyood...you just don't do whatever the heck you feel it. Plus, she's an advocate for health services and the State Department? You know, there are outstanding persons who can be well sufficient advocates for this country and Ken Griffey J:R being one of them, is a good sign for this country...

    December 9, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. witch

    I can't stand to hear her speak her voice is so grating.

    December 9, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. res45

    I'm tired of Kennedy's need some new blood

    December 9, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. Thomas

    "No, seriously?"

    "strip the rust off an engine block?"

    C'mon CNN. Just because an actress wants to go into politics, you can't take her seriously? These kinds of editorial comments in a news story are inappropriate. What about Reagan, Eastwood, Bono, Paulson, Franken, Ventura, Schwarzenegger? All of these Hollywood types were able to transition into politics and be taken seriously, why not the Nanny named Fran?

    December 9, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Just the idea that Caroline Kennedy and Fran Drescher are suggested as Hilary Clinton's replacements tells us what bad shape our government is in.

    December 9, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. NY Republican

    Texas Annie -As much as I admire Lucille Ball I would not want her representing me in the US Senate either. And she was from upstate NY. Why would someone from outside NY state think they need to pick OUR new senator anyway, we are quite used to our own carpetbaggers, the Clintons and the Kennedy Clan, thank you. I'm sure our Governor will decide on who the Clintons' want, he is a Democrat after all.

    December 9, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Phil in KC, and of course it should all be about pleasing the left wing of the Democratic Party. What about the 85% or so of the public who are not left wing Democrats? Kennedy is nothing but a family name. How about picking someone who is actually qualified. Oh that's right, experience and qualifications don't count do they? Just judgement.

    December 9, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Dan

    I see a tight three way race shaping up between Drescher, Rosie O'Donnell, and Joy Behar.

    December 9, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Billy J , TX-

    I think she would be great. She is a lot more than the character she played on that show. Very bright, very driven, and very loyal to the idea of making things and people work like they are supposed to. Go Drescher!

    December 9, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
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