Where are the politicians who like politics?

House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill Jr., D-Mass., and President Ronald Reagan talk in the Oval Office in November 1985. AP Photo/Scott Stewart

(CBS News) So another general election will soon be underway and this time it is an unusual matchup - a president who doesn't much like politics, and a challenger who's not all that good at it.

To be sure they are both qualified to hold the office - good men of high moral character. And both are lawyers, for whatever that's worth!

But it is the little things that give me pause.

It is well-known in Washington that hanging out with other politicians is Barack Obama's LEAST favorite thing, and now we learn from the Wall Street Journal that he has finally begun to write "thank you" notes to his big donors. That's hard to believe.

But it is no more surprising than Mitt Romney deciding to remodel the beach house - the one with the car elevators - with an election approaching! Or going to London and wondering aloud whether the British were ready to host the Olympics. Old-time politicians would know better.

I appreciate anyone willing to take the abuse that comes from getting in the arena and trying to make things better. But somehow our modern politicians seem to have forgotten the basics of politics.

What I miss are the politicians who were not just good at it, but had a real zest for the game - the Reagans and the Dirksens and the LBJs and the Tip O'Neills.

Somehow their obvious LOVE of politics gave me confidence they could work things out.

It's just a small thing, but I wish we could see more of that.

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.

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