Politicians are also people, and the question of what sort of people they are is largely separate from the question of what policies they advocate. That struck me recently after I happened to interact casually with two professional politicians, both at a fairly high level. One of them was, loosely speaking, on my side. One was, loosely speaking, on the other side.
The politician I agreed with was a nice enough person, but did not feel like someone it would be fun to spend time arguing with. The reverse was true of the politician I disagreed with. The reason was not that I can't argue with people on my side—I can and frequently do. It was something about the feel of their personalities.
By that standard, my favorite modern politician would probably be Newt Gingrich. I've never met him, but at one point I somehow got on a mailing list for cassette tapes of his talks—by the technology you can guess how long ago it must have been. Pretty obviously, he was bright, opinionated, original, a little crazy. The sort of person I enjoy arguing with. The overall feel reminded me a little of my friend and ex-colleague the late Gordon Tullock. I am pretty sure that if, by some accident, Gingrich and I were seated next to each other on a long plane flight, neither of us would be bored.