Tamara Keith

Tamara Keith is a NPR White House Correspondent. She is especially focused on matters related to the economy and the Federal budget.

Prior to moving into her current role in January 2014, she was a Congressional Correspondent covering Congress with an emphasis on the budget, taxes and the ongoing fiscal fights. During the Republican presidential primaries she covered Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, and traveled with Mitt Romney leading into the primaries in Colorado and Ohio, among other states. She began covering congress in August 2011.

Keith joined NPR in 2009 as a Business Reporter. In that role, she reported on topics spanning the business world from covering the debt downgrade and debt ceiling crisis to the latest in policy debates, legal issues and technology trends. In early 2010, she was on the ground in Haiti covering the aftermath of the country's disastrous earthquake and later she covered the oil spill in the Gulf. In 2011, Keith conceived and reported the 2011 NPR series The Road Back To Work, a year-long series featuring the audio diaries of six people in St. Louis who began the year unemployed and searching for work.

Keith has deep roots in public radio and got her start in news by writing and voicing essays for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday as a teenager. While in college, she launched her career at NPR Member Station KQED's California Report, covering topics including agriculture and the environment. In 2004, Keith began working at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, where she reported on politics and the 2004 presidential campaign.

Keith went back to California to open the state capital bureau for NPR Member Station KPCC/Southern California Public Radio. In 2006, Keith returned to KQED, serving as the Sacramento-region reporter for two years.

In 2001, Keith began working on B-Side Radio, an hour-long public radio show and podcast that she co-founded, produced, hosted, edited, and distributed for nine years.

Over the course of her career Keith has been the recipient of numerous accolades, including an award for best news writing from the APTRA California/Nevada and a first place trophy from the Society of Environmental Journalists for "Outstanding Story Radio." Keith was a 2010-2011 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow.

Keith earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism. Tamara is also a member of the Bad News Babes, a media softball team that once a year competes against female members of Congress in the Congressional Women's Softball game.

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4:56am

Mon March 23, 2015
It's All Politics

Hillary Clinton Is Ready To 'Stand Out' As A Female Candidate

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:30 pm

A cropped version of the original photo of Hillary Clinton on this page.
Kris Connor Getty Images

At the end of the grueling 2008 primary fight, Hillary Clinton gathered supporters in Washington, D.C., and delivered perhaps the most memorable line of her whole campaign.

"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it," Clinton said to roaring applause.

It's a line, one could say, that began paving the way for her seemingly inevitable 2016 campaign.

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5:29pm

Thu March 12, 2015
It's All Politics

Hillary Clinton's Privacy Problem

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 4:21 pm

In April 1994, Hillary Clinton took questions from reporters for more than an hour as first lady. By that point, she had a reputation for not being particularly transparent and for not spending enough time addressing the national media.
Doug Mills AP

Controversy swirled. The press had questions, a lot of them. And so, finally, Hillary Clinton decided to address reporters.

"Well let me thank all of you for coming," she said, sitting on a low platform in the State Dining Room.

It was April 1994. The first lady wore pale pink and took questions for more than an hour about the Whitewater investigation, cattle futures, the suicide of White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster and which documents may have been removed from his office. Finally, there was the question of why she had let the scandals fester so long.

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3:58am

Mon March 9, 2015
It's All Politics

In Iowa, 2016 Has Begun — At Least For The Republican Party

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 4:07 pm

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks to members of the media during a two-day swing through Iowa that had all the trappings of a presidential campaign.
Charlie Neibergall AP

After five days spent driving around Iowa, meeting with political activists, consultants and regular voters, one thing is clear: the 2016 presidential campaign is on — at least on one side.

Nine GOP Men, One Stage, Six Hours

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8:10am

Sun March 8, 2015
Politics

GOP Hopefuls Do A Balancing Act At Ag Summit

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 1:08 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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6:03am

Tue February 24, 2015
The Two-Way

#NPRreads: If You've Got 2016 Winners Penciled In, Think Again

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:28 am

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

With that, here's one from NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith:

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1:35pm

Tue February 10, 2015
The Two-Way

White House Seeking Support Of Congress In Fight Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 1:39 am

The White House is expected to send Congress language this week which if passed would authorize military action against the militant group ISIS, action that has been underway since last summer.

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4:07am

Tue February 10, 2015
Politics

In Likely Democratic Primary, Who's Joining Hillary Clinton?

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 6:22 pm

Democratic Party possibilities for 2016 (clockwise from top left): former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Vice President Joe Biden; former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.
Ethan Miller, Mandel Ngan, Patrick Smith, Mark Wilson, Chip Somodevilla (2) Getty Images

There may not be any officially declared candidates for president yet, but prominent Republicans from Jeb Bush to Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are making big speeches and jostling for consultants and donors. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton may not formally announce whether she is running for months. But any number of polls would indicate, without even declaring, she has a lock on the Democratic nomination.

Which got me thinking — who are the other potential Democratic candidates?

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4:26pm

Mon February 9, 2015
World

Obama, Merkel Downplay Disagreement Over Ukraine Aid

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 6:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:19pm

Mon February 2, 2015
Politics

Like Groundhog Day, There's A Routine To White House Budget Debut

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 11:42 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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4:36pm

Fri January 23, 2015
Politics

U.S. Careful Amid Turmoil And Transition In Yemen, Saudi Arabia

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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5:13pm

Thu January 22, 2015
Politics

Obama Takes His State Of The Union Messages To YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:28 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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4:20am

Tue January 20, 2015
Economy

Working 3 Jobs In A Time Of Recovery

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 1:58 pm

When Ed Neufeldt introduced President Obama in 2009, Elkhart, Ind. had the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate in the country, close to 20 percent. The county's job numbers have recovered, but Neufeldt's now working three part-time jobs.
Tamara Keith NPR

If Elkhart County, Ind. was the symbol of the recession, then Ed Neufeldt became the face of the unemployed worker.

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9:15am

Sun January 18, 2015
Politics

Obama's Trouble Articulating The State Of The Economy

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:05 am

President Obama used the word "crisis" 11 times when he addressed a joint session of Congress in 2009. Since then, he's had a hard time hitting the right note when talking about the economy.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

When you're president of the United States, what you say about the economy matters, because it isn't just about numbers and widgets; It's about people's lives and hopes. The health of the economy is intertwined with the national psyche.

On Tuesday, when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, he will talk about the economy, something that in the past he's struggled to describe in a way that resonated with the American people.

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4:19pm

Fri January 2, 2015
Politics

Some Not-So-Conventional Wisdom About The Next Congress

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 6:23 pm

Former lawmaker Ben Franklin keeps his eye out for Congress' newest class, due to start work on Capitol Hill next week.
Alex Brandon AP

In politics, conventional wisdom can have a certain power. But, sometimes the obviously true thing isn't so true upon inspection.

The new Republican Congress hits Capitol Hill next week, but the latest round of that wisdom seems to have already been established — from how it's going to work to its relationship with President Obama. Here's a look at 2 1/2 pieces of that wisdom.

1. Republicans are going to have to show they can govern.

At this point, it's been said so many times it's become an established Washington truth.

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4:15am

Tue December 30, 2014
Politics

The Fleeting Obsessions Of The White House Press Corps

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 6:16 pm

White House press secretary Josh Earnest takes questions from the press during a daily briefing in December.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

If you didn't like the news on any given week of 2014, you were mostly in luck. You could just wait a few days until the press moved on.

This was my first full year in the White House press briefing room, sitting in often on the daily briefings. In that time, I noticed a certain attention deficit disorder when it came to the issue of the day.

In 20 seconds, here is 2014 in the White House press briefing room:

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