WASHINGTON (CNN) – Fitness star and effervescence extreme Richard Simmons is on Capitol Hill today, tackling the issue of childhood obesity and pushing for increased school exercise programs. But as he testifies before the House Education and Labor Committee, the 60-year-old is nodding toward that celebrity siren song: political office.
In a half-serious, half-jocular tone, Simmons described his approach to the hearing, saying, "I want to have the respect of a congressman, I want to talk like a congressman, and maybe, someday, I'll be a congressman."
During three minutes of follow-up questions, Simmons displayed an almost Washingtonian flare for avoiding a direct position. "However I can be of use," he said, "If my country wants me, I'll be there for my country."
So has no plans to run?
"Well," he answered coyly, "I don't know. I may run for office. You never know."
Listen: Simmons speaks with CNN Radio about his political ambitions
True to his cause, Simmons seemed most interested in possible health-related jobs in a new administration. "(The new president) is going to have to look at the statistics of what's happening to our kids," Simmons told CNN Radio, "And then he's going to say who can we turn to? And it certainly isn't the Ghostbusters."
The fitness king cited former wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura as an example of the famous turned politician. He's not ruling it out.
"After this congressional hearing, I will go home," Simmons said, "I will talk with my Dalmatian dogs, I will pray to God and then I'll see what else I can do to help."
C-mack estimates 260 million people in the U.S. Try 300 million. Obese children and ignorant adults. Why is it that people outside the U.S. know more about the U.S. than Americans. What's scary isn't people like Simmons running for office, it's people like C-Mack getting to vote.
maybe he and larry craig can meet in the men's room and scope pages together...
MUST be running onthe GOP ticket...
Please tell me the man testified before Congress in a sequin-emblazoned pink lycra jumpsuit.
Don't you think a qualified exam to anybody that wants to run for a public office is necessary?
RIchard Simmons.....Fitness Instructor turned politican.....a possibility.......Al Frankteon.....comedian turned politican--another possibility........Both might add some decoure to Congress. It surely can't get any worse than it is now.....
HEY EVERYBODY LETS MAKE A BILL! OK WORK THAT WRIST! WORK THOSE ARMS! CAN YOU FEEL THAT WRITERS CRAMP! ERASE ERASE ERASE!!!.....this should be quite interesting.
Richard as a congressman would leave many speechless.
Join the GOP!!!!
Your headline is dull! Come on. It's Richard Simmons. How about something like: Fit for office?
Hey, McCain is looking for someone younger and more dynamic than himself. Has he thought of tapping Simmons for VP? If he did, I might actually vote for McCain, just for the entertainment value. And Simmons could keep his tag line, "Sweatin' With the Oldies". Oh, the possibilities!
I can all the people in congress "Dancing to the Oldies" now.
Some of the latest news here in the Political Ticker are quite disappointing and show a shift in CNN to a more "tabloidish" way of reporting.
"I want to have the respect of a congressman"?!? Who the hell gives respect to congressmen? That's like saying "I want to have the smarts of Paris Hilton."