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
11:53 am
Wed April 29, 2015

2016 Race Collides With Baltimore Unrest

Clinton spoke at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University Wednesday.
Kevin Hagen Getty Images

With the fires out and much of the glass cleaned up in Baltimore, the "soul searching" as President Obama called it, has begun. For those hoping to become the next president of the United States, weighing in presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

Hillary Clinton told an audience in New York Wednesday, the criminal justice system is "out of balance."

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It's All Politics
3:17 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Clinton Faces Bad Headlines And More Questions Of Scandal

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is facing questions about money, access and influence while she was secretary of state.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:52 am

The House Select Committee on Benghazi announced plans to call Hillary Clinton to testify next month, right around the time her campaign was reportedly going to shift into high gear with a mid-May campaign kickoff speech.

At the same time, a new book about the Clinton foundation is generating the kind of headlines and news coverage no presidential candidate wants to see.

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It's All Politics
3:41 am
Sat April 18, 2015

The Cat-And-Mouse Game Of The Great Clinton Chase, Iowa Edition

Reporters and campaign staffers rush to their cars to get to Hillary Clinton's first Iowa campaign stop.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 8:59 am

Editor's Note: This is a reporter's notebook from NPR's Tamara Keith, who is covering the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The e-mail from the Clinton campaign came late on Monday. Meet at the Panera Bread in Davenport, Iowa, at 9:45 in the morning. I was to be one of about a dozen reporters in a press pool given access to an unpublicized stop. What we quickly learned was that the restaurant was a decoy. The unannounced meet-and-greet was happening at a small coffee shop 20 minutes away in Le Claire.

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It's All Politics
1:34 pm
Sun April 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton, Polarizing Or Misunderstood, Jumps Into Race For President

Hillary Clinton has described herself as the most famous person you don't really know. And as she launches into her second presidential campaign, she'll be reintroducing herself to voters who largely think they have her figured out.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 2:14 pm

Hillary Clinton officially launched the campaign everyone has been expecting for months — years, really. She's running for president and to finally break open that glass ceiling she famously said her last campaign put "18 million cracks" in.

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Commentary
6:37 am
Sat April 11, 2015

From Pork To Onion Sandwiches: Secrets To Supersurvivors' Long Lives

Jeralean Talley addresses the congregation as her pastor, Reverend Dana Darby, holds the microphone for her during a celebration of her 115th birthday.
Rebecca Cook Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:05 am

Jeralean Talley is the world's oldest living person. She is 115 years old and inherited the title earlier this week from a 116-year-old Arkansas woman who died of pneumonia. She was preceded by a 117-year-old woman from Japan who died the week before. Death, it seems, is a hazard of being the oldest person in the world.

And in the case of those who outlast the rest and earn the title of most senior human, it is often a life well lived.

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It's All Politics
3:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton in June 1969 at the Rodham family home. She was featured in a Life magazine story called "The Class of '69."
Lee Balterman The LIFE Premium Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 11:44 am

Many Americans have a pre-formed opinion of Hillary Clinton, who is expected to announce her candidacy for president this weekend. Call it a blessing — or, simply, an inevitable effect — of being in the public eye for so long. But Clinton has long implied that the public perception of her is all wrong.

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It's All Politics
8:45 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton Expected To Go Small With Big Announcement

Don't expect a big rally with thousands of cheering supporters to launch Hillary Clinton's campaign. For her second run at the presidency, she's out to prove she is taking nothing for granted.
Yana Paskova Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 2:16 pm

The long will-she-or-won't-she charade is nearly over. A source with knowledge of Hillary Clinton's campaign plans tells NPR's Mara Liasson she will announce on Sunday that she's running for president.

But don't expect a big rally with thousands of cheering supporters. For her second run at the presidency, the former secretary of state and first lady is going small. Think Starbucks doing small batch coffee roasts.

One of the biggest names in American politics is out to prove she's taking nothing for granted.

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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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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

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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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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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
2:21 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

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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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

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:36 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

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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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

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Economy
2:23 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
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
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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U.S.
5:42 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/.

Around the Nation
5:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

In Las Vegas, Obama Sells His Immigration Plan

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 9:21 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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Politics
4:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

In Tight Races, Both Parties Bank On Early Votes

President Obama casts an early ballot for the midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 12:48 pm

On the first day for in-person early voting in Illinois, President Obama went to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to cast his ballot.

"I'm so glad I can early vote here," he told the elections worker checking him in.

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Politics
1:34 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Clay Aiken: An American Idol On The Campaign Trail In North Carolina

Clay Aiken hugs a supporter during an election night watch party May 6 in Holly Springs, N.C. Aiken went on to win the primary by fewer than 400 votes.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:47 am

In just one night, in 2003, Clay Aiken got 12 million votes.

That wasn't quite enough to win American Idol's second season, but his soaring vocals won him a record contract and legions of fans known as "Claymates."

Now, he needs far fewer votes — maybe 200,000 — to win a congressional seat representing the rural center of North Carolina. The odds are against him. Aiken is a Democrat in a district where the Republican incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers won by 15 percentage points two years ago.

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Politics
2:27 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Pizza Man Delivers Third-Party Option

North Carolina Libertarian Senate candidate Sean Haugh (center), Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican candidate Thom Tillis attend a debate on Oct. 9. Haugh's tie features a cartoon cat. He says his mom gave it to him.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 4:15 pm

He delivers pizza by night and runs for U.S. Senate by day. Sean Haugh, the Libertarian running for Senate in North Carolina, is among a dozen independent and third-party candidates nationwide who could shake up tight races for Senate and governor.

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Politics
3:29 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Democrats, Republicans Pitch Old Ideas In New Packaging

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:15 pm

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

National Security
3:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Amid Scandal, Secret Service Director Resigns

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 6:16 am

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

Politics
2:58 am
Wed October 1, 2014

In New York's North Country, The Republican Party's New Poster Candidate

Republican congressional candidate Elise Stefanik, 30, says her generation "can't just complain about the problems — we have to help solve them as well, because we're ultimately inheriting them."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:11 am

If the Republican Party were to hang up a wanted sign for the new face of the party, the kind of person they need to help them connect with voters they've had a hard time reaching, Elise Stefanik may just be the person they'd find. She describes herself as a "big tent Republican," and House Speaker John Boehner recently held a fundraiser for her.

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