The prize committee praised Leonhardt for "his graceful penetration of America's complicated economics questions." The White House and congressional Democrats are huge fans as well, emailing around his previous defenses  of programs like Obama's stimulus. However, the paper's Public Editor chided the Times in January for placing Leonhardt's neo-liberal commentaries  promoting Obama-care on the front page, which gives them the imprimatur of objective news.
At the height of the presidential campaign in August 2008, Leonhardt provided Obama political cover  by writing a Sunday Magazine story calling Obama, who was pushing more government control over health care, a "fiscal conservative" compared to Republican John McCain.
- Clay Waters is director of Times Watch . You can follow him on Twitter .