From Peggy Noonan, via Elizabeth Scalia (writing brilliantly about Hillary Clinton). She was referring to various Americans, but it’s a global problem. The passage describes the biggest hitters, but the small town version is the most common. There are a few honourable exceptions of course, but you can use this to describe umpteen of the recent and current crop. Have a try yourself:
We live in a time when politicians relentlessly enrich themselves. We are awed and horrified by the wealth they accumulate, by their use of connections, of money lines built on past and future power. It’s an operation to them. They are worth hundreds of millions. They have houses so fancy the houses have names. They make speeches to banks and universities for a quarter-million dollars and call their fees contributions to their foundations. They are their foundations.
They grab and grub. They never leave. They never go home. They don’t have a “home”: They were born in a place, found a launching pad, and shot themselves into glamour and wealth. They are operators—entitled, assuming. They “stand for the people.” They stand for themselves.