A short response (for a change) -
I've always felt that the BEST kind of elected official was the guy that didn't want the job. He just stepped up to do something that needed to be done out of a sense of civic duty. His full intention was to 'serve his time' (or 'giving back' in the popular parlance), and then return as quickly as possible to dealing with matters directly impacting his own (private) life. The last thing on his mind would be creating a 'career' out of 'public service', and certainly he didn't approach the job with the intention of providing favors friends (and himself). I think they used to be called 'statesmen' or something like that, and are quickly becoming extinct. Pity the EPA and PETA don't see the value and trying to preserve THAT particular species.
Anyone that pursues elective office - regardless of party affiliation - on that specific principle (few and far between as we've seen) typically gets my support until proven otherwise. But the pickings are slim. Sorting through the chaff and chad for these 'pearls of great price' is time-consuming and usually fruitless. *sigh*