Preston Sturges Wiki
Played by:
William Demarest

The Politician appears in The Great McGinty. A member of The Boss' political machine, the Politician is a man of many hats, a wardheeler who stumps for votes, arranges for "proxy" voters, and handles other campaign affairs. His energy is bolstered by an outlook which is both intensely cynical and very pragmatic. He notes that "if it weren't for graft, you'd get a very low type of person in politics. Jellyfish!"

The Politician first encounters Dan McGinty behind a soup wagon. He explains to the bum that to earn two dollars, all he has to do is vote under another name. He defends the practice, and feels insulted when McGinty mentions "repeating," claiming that just because a few citizens are too lazy, sick, or deceased to vote, that's no reason that Mayor Tillinghast should be cheated out of their support. To his astonishment, McGinty not only repeats, he votes 37 times, an act which compels the Politician to present him to the Boss for payment.

The Politician remains part of the political coterie, engaging in philosophical discussions with Catherine McGinty (reverently impressed by her father's book, claiming that you can't really cheat the people. On the wedding day, he attempts to prevent McGinty and the Boss from engaging in their trademark fisticuffs, and when McGinty runs for governo, he takes to the platform, promoting the candidate with intense fervour.

Once things turn sour, it is the Politician, disguised as a jailer, who rescues McGinty and the Boss. In the epilogue, he appears in the South American bar with the rest of the gang, working as a waiter. Now accustomed to the odd friendship between McGinty and the Boss, as they engage in yet another brawl, he stoically notes, "Time out, gents. Here we go again."