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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It's All Politics
2:56 am
Mon March 23, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 3:30 pm

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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Politics
2:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Relationship Between Obama And Netanyahu? It's Complicated

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 5:58 pm

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

It's All Politics
11:11 am
Sun March 15, 2015

5 Obama Jokes That Stood Out From His Gridiron Club Routine

There are no photos of last night's Gridiron Club dinner, but President Obama did plenty of laughing (and it looked something like this).
J. Scott Applewhite AP

About three-quarters of the way through his joke routine, President Obama chuckled and said "this lame-duck stuff is fun." Indeed, unencumbered by re-election concerns, Obama seemed to relish his role of comic-in-chief at the 130th annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, the oldest and most exclusive club for members of the Washington press corps.

Here are five notable lines from Obama's appearance, in order of delivery:

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Privacy Problem

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

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 2:21 pm

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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It's All Politics
1:58 am
Mon March 9, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 2:07 pm

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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Politics
6:10 am
Sun March 8, 2015

GOP Hopefuls Do A Balancing Act At Ag Summit

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 11:08 am

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The Two-Way
4:03 am
Tue February 24, 2015

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

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:28 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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Politics
2:35 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

President Obama Asks Congress For Approval Of Military Force Against ISIS

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 4:27 pm

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue February 10, 2015

White House Seeking Support Of Congress In Fight Against ISIS

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 11:39 pm

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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Politics
2:23 am
Tue February 10, 2015

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

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

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 4:22 pm

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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World
2:48 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Obama, Merkel Downplay Disagreement Over Ukraine Aid

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:27 pm

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Politics
2:29 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

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

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 9:42 pm

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Politics
3:17 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Romney Ends Flirtation With 2016 Presidential Run

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

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

Politics
3:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

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

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:00 am

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Politics
2:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Obama Takes His State Of The Union Messages To YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:28 pm

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Politics
3:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Obama Defends His Aggressive Agenda In Boise, Idaho

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:00 pm

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Economy
2:02 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Working 3 Jobs In A Time Of Recovery

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

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:58 am

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

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Politics
3:28 am
Mon January 19, 2015

White House Rolls Out Tax Proposals Before State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:37 am

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

Politics
7:15 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Obama's Trouble Articulating The State Of The Economy

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

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:05 am

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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Politics
3:04 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Obama To Host White House Meeting With Congressional Leaders

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:01 am

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Politics
1:54 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Some Not-So-Conventional Wisdom About The Next Congress

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

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 4:23 pm

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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Politics
2:15 am
Tue December 30, 2014

The Fleeting Obsessions Of The White House Press Corps

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

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 4:16 pm

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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Politics
3:15 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Most Federal Workers Get Day After Christmas Off

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:52 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
2:42 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

With New Congress, Will Obama Work Differently?

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Obama Wraps Up A 'Breakthrough' 2014

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:33 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama Says Sony Made A 'Mistake' In Cancelling 'The Interview'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:11 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
2:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Budget Bill Proves Perfect Flashpoint For Debate Among Democrats

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:16 pm

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National Security
2:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

White House Tiptoes Around Usefulness Of Brutal Interrogation Tactics

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

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National Security
2:26 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Reaction To 'Torture Report' Shows A Nation Divided

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:47 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
10:07 am
Mon December 8, 2014

A Fleeting Peek At The Prince And The President

The White House said the president was looking forward to "thanking The Duke of Cambridge for the hospitality shown to him by the Royal Family during the President's recent visits to the United Kingdom."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 12:08 pm

The visit of Britain's Prince William to Washington, D.C. has been greeted with the excitement reserved for celebrities in a town starved of real famous people (I mean, spotting Sen. Chuck Schumer at a restaurant can lead to breathless "spotted" tweeting). Folks are disappointed that his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, didn't make the trip down from New York City with him. But, this is D.C., and we'll take what we can get on an otherwise slow news morning.

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