July 24th, 2008
09:35 AM ET
6 years ago

Richard Simmons - Congressman?

Could the health guru head for Capitol Hill?
Could the health guru head for Capitol Hill?

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."


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Mark

    You go boy!!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Charlotte

    He has as much experience as Obama. I think he could do as much as Obama has done as a Senator. He knows how to run....

    July 24, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. Jim from Florida

    Lisa, Lisa, Lisa,

    "flare"??? Turn off your spell-checker & learn to proofread.

    July 24, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Matthew

    I'm sure the democrats would vote for him.

    All they need is a little hype and media slobbering to find everything they need in a leader.

    July 24, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. JohnBoy

    Has to be a Democrat.

    July 24, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. JB

    He would fit right in with the rest of the clowns on the Hill.

    July 24, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Mike from Boston

    What?? "So what would qualify him to be a congressman?"

    HE'S an AMERICAN!!

    July 24, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. DMC, USA

    OMG....my husband is cringing....lol!!!!!!!!!!

    July 24, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. shellibelli

    he is to nice to be in politics!

    July 24, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. anna ga

    Well, he would certainly liven up Congress what with those shorts and tank tops. Has there ever been a dress code for Congress? Maybe now would be an good time to enact one.

    July 24, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Jake

    allot of interesting comments, but lets see, where is Richard Simmons, he is healthy, not like most of you fat people... I'd say, you know what, what ever the hell Richard Simmons, you want to run, do it, don't think, don't say, just f'n do it....

    July 24, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Becky

    Well, obesity is a big problem in America so I don't see anything wrong with this. Many congressmen have not had roles in politics their entire lives. Change is a good thing.

    July 24, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Sexy Jesus

    From "sweatin' to the oldies" to sweatin' with the oldies?

    July 24, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. john

    Please ditch the sequin tank top, it is truly embarrissing to us humans!

    July 24, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Chuck, Euigene Oregon.

    you must be kidding me. No one will take this man serious, he is way out there in his personality.

    July 24, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. dems be dopes

    Excellent running mate for McKinney and/or Obama!

    All three have about the same experience and he could be taught to read a teleprompter like Obama.

    July 24, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Susan

    This is scarier than John McCain in the grocery store.

    July 24, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. NewYorker Magazine Rocks

    He must have seen how easy it was for someone with NO experience to be selected by the DNC to run for president, so now Richard wants to do the same.

    Annoy the Media, say NO to Obama.

    July 24, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Michael

    If Obama, why not Simmons. Same degree of gravitas.

    July 24, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. gajates

    Tight on Richard..........You go girl

    July 24, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  21. Travis C.

    I'd totally vote for him! He'd bring some flair to that stodgy old Capitol, and at least we know he's got some integrity on ONE issue (which is more than can be said for most politicians)!

    July 24, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Bubba

    To late-night TV: Gentlemen, start your engines.

    July 24, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. Xavier

    Mike from Texas,
    Its funny you should compare Obama to Simmons given Texas is the state that gave is two outstanding idiots like Bush and Rick Perry. ALso, before you start saying I am a Texas hater, I actually live in Texas. I love my state, but dont claim idiots like Bush and Perry as being part of it.

    July 24, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Steven in Charleston

    He's spent most of his lifetime showing people how to fight one of our society's deadliest killers (obesity), he expresses a seemingly genuine desire to serve his country, and he's scandal-free. As far as I'm concerned, he's a good deal better than most of the people we currently have sitting on the Hill!

    July 24, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. Marcus, Great Lakes IL

    Maybe he could help McCain’s campaign by getting McCain’s supporters in shape and having more energy for their candidate during the campaign. (Which is on area that is needed as they are sorely lacking in it).

    July 24, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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