4. Politician, statesman refer to one skilled in politics. These terms differ particularly in their connotations; politician is more often derogatory, and statesman laudatory. Politician suggests the schemes and devices of a person who engages in (especially small) politics for party ends or for one's own advantage: a dishonest politician. Statesman suggests the eminent ability, foresight, and unselfish patriotic devotion of a person dealing with (especially important or great) affairs of state: a distinguished statesman.
1588, from politics (q.v.). Colloquial abbreviated form pol is attested from 1942. Alternative form politico (usually in a derogatory sense) is attested from 1630, from It. or Sp. politico, noun use of adj. meaning "political," from L. politicus (see politic).
A person who succeeds through charm, diplomacy, mutual favors, etc •The term is mildly derogatory in suggesting a lack of true substance: If you called him an asshole to his face you're no politician(1592+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source