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. Sara

    As a New Yorker from upstate, I'd really like a real live upstater as our new Senator. Not the Nanny, not Caroline Kennedy.

    December 9, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Brad

    Get over the Kennedy's already!!!!!!! All that glitters is not gold. Joe, a scheming womanizer, JFK, a scheming womanizer who nearly had us obliterated by nuclear war, RFK, a scheming womanizer, Ted, a scheming womanizer. Is anyone seeing a pattern here. Now answer the question "what's in a name?"

    December 9, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. rick

    Well as usual, everyone is talking about what doesn't matter..gender,her voice, her tv show..let's talk about her position on the issues. Health care, the envoroment and everything else that's been ignored the last two terms by the worst administration in history.
    Your opinion and vote does matter but make it about her qualifications and ideas to make this country a better place for everybody!

    December 9, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. Freddy

    Fran as NY Senator?? Oh, Mr. Sheffield!!!

    December 9, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  5. Colbert National

    I nominate Steven Colbert.

    December 9, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Susan - Edison, NJ

    Could they have found a worse picture of her? I can't tell if that's her or Paula Abdul.

    December 9, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Brandon

    Good lord – just when you thought palin was the laughing stock.

    Can you imagine her in a filabuster?????

    December 9, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. mary, colorado springs, co

    Maybe she's a good choice, her voice would drive the opposition into submission.

    December 9, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Don

    Much rather have Drescher in the public view than Palin. One is intelligent and well spoken, the other is a dud.

    December 9, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Maureen in NJ

    Let's keep Hollywood out of politics. We need to get serious about who we allow to represent us. Politics should not be a popularity contest.

    December 9, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. R.J.S.B.E.

    Just because a person is an actress/actor doesn't exclude them automatically from having an intelligent and thoughtful mind with appropriate skills. Acting is a creative outlet, it takes talent and skill, but there are many an actress/actor who have a more analytical brain and fiscal experience then some of the elected officials I've seen during my 9 years of political study.

    If she is the better candidate, then pick her. If she is not, then don't. It really comes down to just picking the best candidate of the available lot.

    December 9, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Coco

    This is not news. When the governor makes his decision, then and only then will it be news. This is gossip, CNN.

    December 9, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Charles W. Skinner

    And the big media just continues to pull out the long knives...

    "Drescher, 51, is best known for ... an adenoidal voice that could strip the rust off an engine block...."

    I'll bet that the author of this particular piece of condescension doesn't have a clue that Drescher can speak in a normal tone. But it's just one more example of the Mainstream Media (some would call it the Drive-By Media) spraying out their opinion and then running away before they get labeled as the elitists they are.

    A quick question to the Media. When was the last time you saw Caroline Kennedy outside the Kennedy Compound other than at a rare political event since JFK Jr. died in 1999? Answer – Almost never. She was a figure head chief executive for the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education, in order to fund-raise, but that doesn't qualify her for a US Senate seat.

    December 9, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Stuart Smalley

    Al Franken should be available to run again soon. Get ready to count (and recont) the votes.

    December 9, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Too Far?

    Say it aint so? First Jesse and Arnold now Franken and Dresher? Lets all step back and realize these are not the right steps. It isn't our fault that celebrity careers are limited. They should have thought about that before torturing us with terrible comedy. I speaking to you Franken. Why did they even let you on SNL?

    December 9, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. Sarge in Florida

    To Amber: Why are you bitter against Caroline just because she has the Kennedy name...Look at the Bush name First the father, then the son GW and now his other brother (Jeb) here from Florida plans on running for the Senate...Caroline has never been tied up in scandals like the Bush's...I'd bet that you are one deprived woman yourself...Go moister yourself because it seems that something has dried out on you...BTW K-Y jelly works great...

    December 9, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Jessica in IL

    Ummm, no. Please, God, no.

    December 9, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Jane the Nanny

    I want Fran Drescher to replace Clinton.

    December 9, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Gregory, Scottsdale, AZ

    What is the job of a senator? The answer is to ACT. Let her in, she'll do fine. However, a Kennedy – hm. She'll get it.

    December 9, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Michael, Houston Texas

    I say give her a chance. If she has what it takes than so beit. Why is it when an actor or celeb type attempts to do something like this, all of you come down on them as if they are not capable of representing people. For all of you saying she is not qualified, are you? And if you THINK you are, why are you not trying to offer your services for our country. Easy to sit all day and type criticisms about others. If she thinks she is qualified, go for it.

    December 9, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Laughable!

    December 9, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Shiller

    I think Stephen Colbert should try to get that seat, he's a funny man with political aspiration.

    December 9, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  23. Trent

    NOOOO..her voice....NOOOOO

    December 9, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Joelle

    For those of you who don't know Fran Drescher, she has been very involved with the Democratic Party and the Jewish community; providing her time and money to many non-profit organizations, so she actually might not be a bad candidate. Of course, I do like Caroline Kennedy too, so this will be a tough race!

    December 9, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Carramia

    Actually I think shes much brighter than Sarah Palin. So why not

    December 9, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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