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."
I like Richard Simmons. He is funny and cares about people, BUT as a U.S. Congressman! OH NO!
Richard, PLEASE get yourself some new workout clothes. Longer shorts and a regular tee shirt. I can just see him jogging into a congressional meeting wearing the short shorts and tank tops!
Oh come on.
Well, as long as he can make a great speech and say 'change' a lot, he'd probably get the votes. I hear you don't need any experience anymore.
While I really don't think he's qualified to tie his own shoes, I have to say that he couldn't possibly do a worse job than the Republican bozos have done during the last eight years of their alleged 'leadership.'
Simmons for President! He has as much knowledge as Obama for the job. Their resumes look the same.
Ha that would be funny as HELL he does drive a good point about child hood obesiety but he should stay on the outskirts and put in the work as a private citizen not as a congress man
Richard Simmons is a whack job with good intentions and a caring heart. This is better than McBush who is a whack job with good PR and a proclivity toward war, torture, anger management issues, hardening of the arteries and getting an F in history and geography.
A love for his country, gotta love it GO Richard...
You people are so biggoted! Anyone can run for congress, and anyobody should be encouraged. It is our right to run, and it is also our right not to vote for people. Most people who get elected don't start out with experience. At least with Richard Simmons, I am sure he would be fairly uncorruptable, and if there was a sex scandall you know it would be absoloutly halarious.
If I see Obama's face one more time, I might puke!
I refuse to vote for Obama unless Simmons is on the ticket!!
I wonder how long it would take him to start crying when he has one of his meetings?
The sound of his voice alone symbolizes the liberal Democratic party.
Well at least he has more experience than Obama
This person is a disgrace to the fitness professionals. He is a complete joke and the media continues to cover his moves and ideas as facts. What a pity!!!
He has as many qualifications as Barack Obama, so why shouldn't he run for President?
How desperate you are for anything that you think will
make the news!
Well, he certainly couldn't do any worse than the idiots like our John Carter and most of the others. All he's got to do is find out which local butts he needs to kiss and then sit back and accept all those contributions.
The only seats he'd ever win are the "pink" districts in San Fransisco or Philadelphia.
probably would fit right in!
He's been a great inspiration to many on the importance of maintaining proper eating habits and exercising for health in a light-hearted fun approach to good living. You may question his motivational techniques, but this grandmother says, GO RICHARD, reach your goals as you have motivated so many to do.
Oh dear gods, no...
I hope he realizes that as a congressman he would actually have to wear a suit.