The person who saved the earth ships last words were "I'm a politician", or "I'm a public servant" or "I'm an elected official", something akin to that.
Anyhow, an earth based exploration ship was nosing about in an odd corner of space, when it was attacked by some "bad guys". The earth ship was getting the worst of things, when over the horizon cam a strange vessel, weapons blazing, driving home a flank attack on the bad guys. This allowed the earth ship to recover and counter attack, driving off the enemy.
The two ships docked together, the pilot of the rescuer doing a few minor repairs to his vessel. Conversations followed, the earthmen inquiring who their "helper" was, where he came from, what he did there, what their women looked like, and by the way thanks for the assist, that sort of thing.
The stranger said that the earthmen were making more of his action than it was really worth, and in any case, the stranger was imply doing what would be expected of someone of his class. When the earthmen asked who/what sort of person he was, the stranger said, as he climbed into his vessel, "I'm a politician" or see above characterizations, and this is the sort of action expected of an individual such as myself.
That's all I remember of the story. Anyone here got a better memory?