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No, maladroit doesn't have the same connotation as "failed." It has a lightness to it, more like "inept." It is appropriate to a British newspaper writing about Cicero (in fact, it has a very "British" ring to it), but not to what Russians (or Americans) would say about their politicians today, I believe (most of which would not be printable on a "family" website like ProZ.com).
Another thought: The full phrase given makes clear, it seems to me, that the politicians are actually not bad AT BEING POLITICIANS--in that sense, they are not failed or inept, etc. The point is that they are rotten, no-good, corrupt, self-seeking (like the incompetent economists), and are deliberately inflaming national enmities. They are "good" at being politicians, in the sense of manipulating people to do what they want them to do.
To Anatoliy: This is a great phrase, a fun question.
Automatic update in 00:
1 hr confidence: peer agreement (net): +1
a poor excuse for a politician
Explanation: Или еще боле простой вариант a useless politician
AT_Translate New Zealand Local time: 21:35 Native speaker of: Russian