New Times DC Bureau Chief David Leonhardt Won’t Focus on Economic Policy, But Thinks Americans Should

With Dean Baquet coming to New York to serve as Jill Abramson’s Jill Abramson, Economix columnist David Leonhardt is taking over the New York Times‘ D.C. bureau September 6.

Yesterday an interview with Mr. Leonhardt was published in the Columbia Journalism Review, though it felt a little more like the Paris Review for its hundred-word questions, circuitous responses, all around edited-feeling.

And though it’s good wonky read, it’s no Christ/Borges, thus, the highlights:

Mr. Leonhardt shut down any speculation that his appointment signaled a change in the bureau’s direction to match his economic expertise, an inkling reinforced by the debt debates in D.C.

“We all agree that there is nothing about my selection that is a signal that we’re going to move toward a greater emphasis on economic policy than we’ve already had,” Mr. Leonhardt said.

However, he would really appreciate it if everyone started paying closer attention to it.

“I think we have a society-wide problem of not focusing on what our real economic problems are,” he said.

He doesn’t understand why, for example, Americans think they don’t want a deficit when they say they don’t want taxes increased or Social Security cut. Neither do we, Dave.

This part was nice hear, coming from the Times:

“We also need to ask ourselves whether we are being overly affected by the conventional wisdom. I do think there are times when that happens, when it seems like everyone smart or everyone in power thinks o e thing, and we need to say to ourselves, is there a chance that it’s wrong?”