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."
He could probably do a better job than some we have now.
HE IS STILL ALIVE?
Well, I guess the bright side of this would be that you won't see anymore overweight congressmen...
I think it's about time for him to buy his first suit.
Run Richard Run
He would be a not so perfect Congresswoman.
Want to be useful to your country, Richard? Join the Army and go to Iraq!!!!! If you get to congress, maybe you could help them get off their dead BUTTS!!!
........Now, that is terrifying...........
Almost as terrifying as President McCain. God help us.
I'd VOTE for Richard Simmons before I'd vote for deadman walking McBush!!!
are you kidding?
Obama is going to speak in Germany today and this is on the ticker???
Yeah, good luck with that. why is this guy news?
Great choice for any democratic nomination.
I'm sure he will make a good GOP canidate. He does have that pizazz. and likes to wear red. Go Go Richard yeah...
This is laughable. What happens to a country where people with no qualifications or experience think they have what it takes to make decisions that affect 260 million people. Quite frankly, its frightening. I'm sure Simmons has the best intentions, but there are alot of other issues pressing america besides childhood obesity. Would he really be of any other use on any other problems facing us? When it comes down to it, intentions don't lower gas prices...and they certainly don't pull troops out of Iraq.
If he would be an effective voice in getting today's young people off the sofas and away from the video games, I would vote for him.
Jesse "The Body" Ventura must be thinking "Apres moi, le deluge!"
Go Richard. Can't do any worse than what's in there now.
What a screwed up country we are becoming.
The McCain campaign is quickly becoming a joke after lamenting and whining about Media bias what does he do when a press conference is arranged? He goes into hiding, how pathetic can one be?
Talking to dogs and praying to God? Sorry Mr. Simmons, we already have a President
ye gods, who would vote for him?
Hey, if people are willing to vote for Obama they should be more than willing to vote for Simmons. Both are equally qualified (sorry Richard).
I hope he doesn't wear that orange thing to capitol hill. Simmons doesn't have to worry about obesity with the price of food skyrocketing and will only go higher, he might need a "feed the americans" campaign.