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."
You go boy!!!!
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....
Lisa, Lisa, Lisa,
"flare"??? Turn off your spell-checker & learn to proofread.
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.
Has to be a Democrat.
He would fit right in with the rest of the clowns on the Hill.
What?? "So what would qualify him to be a congressman?"
HE'S an AMERICAN!!
OMG....my husband is cringing....lol!!!!!!!!!!
he is to nice to be in politics!
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.
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....
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.
From "sweatin' to the oldies" to sweatin' with the oldies?
Please ditch the sequin tank top, it is truly embarrissing to us humans!
you must be kidding me. No one will take this man serious, he is way out there in his personality.
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.
This is scarier than John McCain in the grocery store.
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.
If Obama, why not Simmons. Same degree of gravitas.
Tight on Richard..........You go girl
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)!
To late-night TV: Gentlemen, start your engines.
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.
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!
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).