George Will: Newt Gingrich a 'rental politician ... not a historian' Conservative scribe George Will ridiculed Newt Gingrich as a "rental politician" on ABC's "This Week" yesterday, scoffing at the idea that the Republican Party's self-described "big ideas" candidate is employable as a historian: Gingrichs is an amazingly efficient candidacy, in that it embodies almost everything disagreeable about modern Washington. Hes the classic rental politician. People think his problem is his colorful personal life. Hes gonna hope people concentrate on that, rather than on, for example, ethanol. Al Gore has recanted ethanol. Not Newt Gingrich, who has served the ethanol lobby. Industrial policy of the sort that got us Solyndra hes all for it. Freddie Mac, he says, hired him as a "historian." Hes not a historian. Hire Sean Wilentz, hire Gordon Wood if you want a historian. Mediaite has the video here. Will's undisguised scorn is a good illustration of why Gingrich, even as he makes a bid for the affections of rank-and-file anti-Romney voters, is unlikely to win over much of anti-Romney conservative upper crust. As much as there's still a demand for an impressive, thoughtful conservative in the race who can lead the party to Romney's right, most of the political elites who know Gingrich best were convinced a long time ago that he isn't that guy.