By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
Fran Drescher seems to have a thing for jobs that last six years. First it was The Nanny, the sitcom that ran from 1993 to 1999 and, through reruns, continues to win her fame and fortune. And if the Queens cackler gets her way, her next job could also come with a six-year term: Senator from New York. While she lost out to former Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand for the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, President Obama's new secretary of state, the Nanny tells Whispers that she isn't giving up her goal. "It is something that I am very seriously contemplating."
Gillibrand is formidable. She's a good fundraiser, and her moderate politics makes her an upstate fave for the 2010 special election. But Drescher isn't worried. "I could set up very quickly if I throw my hat in the ring," she says. "I feel like I can generate an interesting, and even a crossover, mix of people who would come to my support." She received encouragement from Democratic lawmakers and donors as recently as Obama's inauguration, when she was the house guest of Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Her pals have advised that she can hold off announcing. "I may have a little bit of time," she tells us, "because of my celebrity component and ability to raise large amounts of money more easily." And her New York-ness, notably her nasally laugh, is a plus, she says. "I get New York." In the meantime, the cancer survivor who started the Cancer Schmancer Movement to urge women to be tested for cancer has been asked by the Obama team to stay on as an international women's healthcare envoy, a position she held under George W. Bush.
Illustration by Ed Wexler for USN&WR
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