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."
No. No. No. No. In the name of all that is good and holy and pure, banish this man from congress, banish him from the political ticker, hell banish him from the continental United States! Members of congress are not going to start sweating to the oldies in the middle of a session, and for that I'm glad. I'm a lifelong Democrat and even I would switch parties if I saw the speaker in spandex...*shudder*.
This is a fantastic idea! Maybe we can get him sworn in with a Koran and REALLY drive the conservatives NUTS!
Now we've got a candidate on the Straight Talk Express, a candidate on the hearts and minds of the Democratic party, and a candidate on the stairmaster. Beautiful.
So what would qualify him to be a congressman?
If he chose to run for elected office–I'm for it.
Clearly–everyone knows where his focus and values are. He doesn't crave power–and every action he has undertaken has been for the betterment of humans–regardless of their weight, heritage, or wealth.
A great option to many of the self-serving jabberwockies we have in congress right now.
Go for it Richard!!! But do it as an Independent or Libertarian.
ooooo, John McCain's VP? now even i would vote for that
Simmons saw Obama running for President and said to himself "If he can do it, well so can I...YES I CAN!!!! Now burn them buns ladies!"
More power to the dude. Say what you want, but this guy helped millions start moving and get in better shape. It would be nice to see a congressman with a background of helping people, even if he is all kinds of odd.
Oh, please, no! This guy is a joke. How could anyone take him seriously?
Kevin from Omaha July 24th, 2008 8:54 am ET
An Obama-Simmons ticket would rove to be an even bigger joke than the Democratic primaries. McCain 08!
Can he be serious? I can't imagine that most House districts in the country would have him. What are the issues that he would run on? Would everyone get one of his work out videos? I would suggest that he find a nice conservative district and run on a third party to shake things up. It might provide some nice news.
Richard Gets more news coverage than McCain!
I am sure if he runs he would be better than any republicans including Bush/Mcshame
His campaign theme music would be Sweating To The Oldies.
I can see it now. All the congressman and congress women "sweatin to the oldies."
please, no. stick to crying on talk shows richard.
Today, this morning rumors has it that Barrack Obama uses white woman like tropy. That right obama like white woman and then uses them like tropy. Wow that is Barrack Obama!!!
This is America; you can be anything you want as long as your efforts match your dream. I say: “go for it with all your heart and all your efforts!"
Where is David Letterman with the fire extinguisher when you need him?
It could be worse, but probably not much worse than the past 8 years we've had with dingus.
What qualifies any of the current knuckleheads to be in Congress. Richard Simmons would probably do a better job than most.