Tax-Loving, Obama-Defending NYT Writer Leonhardt Rises to Washington Bureau Chief

Staffing shifts continue at the New York Times. The paper's chief economics writer David Leonhardt will be the paper's next Washington bureau chief as of Labor Day, a move confirmed by Times' media reporter Jeremy Peters Friday morning. Leonhardt will replace Dean Baquet, who is moving to New York to be managing editor under Executive Editor-in-waiting Jill Abramson.

Leonhardt's columns in defense of Obama's 'stimulus' package and Obama-care health 'reform' made him a very popular man at the White House and among congressional Democrats, who passed around his pieces via email and Twitter.

In 2009 he demonstrated 'the upside of paying more taxes' and has twice claimed the big-spending Obama was in fact a 'fiscal conservative.'

In May 2010 Leonhardt called on Obama to break his promise not to raise taxes on those making under $250,000 a year, since he considers high taxes necessary in a modern society. As he wrote in October 2009, 'taxes are supposed to rise as a country grows richer.' He followed up in April 2011: 'In reality, finding a way to raise taxes may well be the central political problem facing the United States.'

- Clay Waters is director of Times Watch. You can follow him on Twitter.