Certainly not in the modern sense of the word anyway. After all, how many of his fellow elected representatives would refer to their nomination for a place on Fife Council as "just something to fill in time" after their day's work is done?
Absent-minded, perhaps, but the comment is far from a slight; representing the people of Dunfermline is a duty the 58-year-old has proudly embraced for much of his adult life. A red rosette and expense account will not change that. Besides, the way in which the people of the town – his town – have supported him in recent times has created a debt that Leishman fears he can never fully repay.
Just over three years have passed since Mary, his beloved wife, lost her fight against a particularly aggressive form of cancer, and even now a moment alone is a moment in which the Dunfermline Athletic director of football becomes a prisoner to his memories. His solution is to not allow himself time to wallow.
"I'm just filling in my time; I'd just be sitting about or lying on the couch otherwise," he says of a schedule that also includes tending to his 'hobby', the Mary Leishman Foundation. "If Mary had still been alive I'd have been looking forward to going somewhere nice for my holiday at this time of year but instead I'll be starting as a Labour councillor. There is a void now when I go home so rather than sit in the house I want to go out to surgeries and go to the football to keep myself busy."
It is an approach he will also apply to Dunfermline Athletic. Relegated from the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Monday after defeat at the hands of Hibernian, the East End Park club have endured a torrid season since winning the Irn-Bru First Division little over a year ago, but Leishman is refusing to allow the club to become gripped by despondency.
First, there is the visit of Kilmarnock tomorrow and the responsibility to give the fans something to cheer, then next week meetings will begin to establish the budget that Jim Jefferies will be afforded for next term. With the bulk of the squad either out of contract or on two-tier deals that comprise different wage levels depending on the division, Dunfermline can adapt accordingly to their drop in revenue and move to redress the balance with lucrative derbies against Raith Rovers, Falkirk and Cowdenbeath.
"Football is my love and Dunfermline my passion, so my emotions have been all over the place these last few days," he admits. "But we've got to respond positively; we can't just sit in the corner feeling sorry for ourselves and we can't turn the clock back. The transition was maybe greater than we thought and we had some bad luck with injuries but it's done now and we've got to adapt from being underdogs every week to being favourites."
That position was one Dunfermline Central's new councillor found himself in at last Friday's count. Having been pestered to stand for two years by Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister, and Alex Rowley, the leader of the Fife Labour Party, Leishman eventually relented and has spent the past few months chapping on doors and canvassing voters. Some mentioned the club's goalkeeping troubles and others the cost of going to games but the majority were more concerned about the same issues troubling the rest of Scotland; the NHS, education, the economy, unemployment and the elderly.
"I just want fairness; for people to be treated the right way," says Leishman. "I've got no plans about doing this or that, it's all about what the voters want done. Obviously, I'm not a politician so I've got to discover the lie of the land and find out how it all works, but the people of Dunfermline have been good to me and I want to give something back."
That attitude stretches to the club's activities, too. Much of Leishman's work involves engaging the community and repaying them for their support on a Saturday by supporting them during the week. Watching the way he goes about these duties, it is easy to see what his political mentors identified in the garrulous former player and manager. "I suppose it's a bit like a football match, really," he said, reflecting on whether his qualities are transferable. "You know people are supporting you but you're never confident; you just hope you've done the job properly because once the players cross the line – and once the votes are in the box – there's nothing more you can do."
Leishman might not be a politician, but Dunfermline could hardly hope for a more enthusiastic and caring advocate.