News & Politics

A Night Out: Dinner With Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher came to Washington, and we put on our best party dress for the occasion.

Meet the Press executive producer Betsy Fischer and Kelley McCormick pose with the lady of the hour, Fran Drescher.

Fran Drescher considers a Ritz-Carlton hotel room in DC to be her third home, but she may have to consider finding a more permanent one if her political ambitions bear fruit. The TV actress, author, and activist—who considered running for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in New York when it was vacated—still hopes to campaign for political office in the future. She also has a bipartisan advantage. “A lot of my fans are Republicans, and they tell me they’d be willing to switch sides for me,” says Drescher. “Because at the end of the day, they think what I say makes sense.”

Fresh from a face-off with Sean Hannity, the former Nanny star was in town this weekend and met with journalists Saturday night to promote her new FranBrand skin-care line over dinner at Teatro Goldoni. Hosts Janet Donovan—a longtime friend of Drescher’s—and Kelley McCormick presided over the chef’s table, where Drescher chatted about politics, healthcare, her experience with cancer, and how happy she was to be included in The Washingtonian’s list of Best Celebrity Lobbyists alongside George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Bono. “I’m in such good company,” she says. “If only it was always like this. . . .”

FranBrand is a new line of all-natural, eco-friendly beauty products developed by Drescher after uterine cancer forced her to have a hysterectomy. She was given an estrogen patch to help manage her hormones and started to think about how many things women put on their skin each day: “I realized that everything applied to the skin is absorbed transdermally into the body.” Unhappy with many of the carcinogens and additives in many beauty products, she decided to create her own line, with a portion of the proceeds going to her charity, Cancer Schmancer. In addition to promoting FranBrand, publicizing free cancer screenings in special “FranVans” in California, and developing a potential talk show, Drescher is employed by the State Department as a diplomacy envoy for women’s issues. “I started in September 2008, so I’ve had both Condi [Rice] and Hillary [Clinton] as my boss,” she says.

Her activist credentials will come in handy if Drescher ever sets her sights on a Senate seat. And her connections probably won’t hurt. Although she was an early endorser of Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign, she switched her allegiances to Barack Obama after he secured the nomination. “I called him and told him,” she says. “He was happy about it.”

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