The Difference Between Statesmen and Politicians
According to the World Book Dictionary, a politician is "A person who gives much time to political affairs; a person who is experienced in politics." A statesman is defined as "A person who is skilled in the management of public or national affairs." The difference in definitions is subtle, but the difference in practice is enormous.
To use a football analogy, both Marion Campbell (former coach of the Atlanta Falcons) and Tom Landry (former coach of the Dallas Cowboys) were experienced coaches, and they devoted a great deal of time to their profession. Using the criteria for a politician, Campbell and Landry were equals. But while a politician is described as "experienced," a statesman is described as "skilled.