FishbowlDC has learned that WSJ national political reporter Chris Cooper will leave the paper and join Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications as vice president in its Washington, D.C. office, effective January 19, 2009. There, Cooper will provide strategic communications and public affairs counsel to firm clients in Washington, D.C., New England and around the country and world.

Most recently, Cooper was the paper’s lead reporter in its coverage of Barack Obama during the election. Cooper’s been at the Journal since 1998.