What is the difference between a politician and a statesman? Here are some answers: (1) A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman thinks of the next generation. (2) A politician thinks of himself first, a statesman thinks of the country first. (3) Anyone elected to office is a politician; a statesman promotes the public good with integrity. Statespersonship conveys a quality of leadership that organically brings people together; and of eldership, a spirit of caring for others and for the whole. (4) A statesman is ever governed by the following principle: I must do what is best for the people as a whole. His job is political probity, even though he may face horrible conditions for carrying it out. (5) A politician makes the possible necessary, while a statesman makes the necessary possible. (6) And my favorite of all: A politician talks the talk; a statesman walks the walk.
*Lifted from Solita Monsod's column, Philippine Daily Inquirer