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.

Vice President Joe Biden isn't running for president — not yet, anyway. But a group hoping he does is going on air with a six-figure ad buy encouraging him to get in the race.

The official reporting deadline isn't until Oct. 15, but Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are already out with big numbers for the third quarter.

And those numbers tell us something about the state of the presidential race on the Democratic side.

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

Mark this time in the history books: 1:09 p.m. That's the moment on Friday when Pope Francis' influence came through in two simultaneous news conferences, held by two men who haven't always seen eye to eye.

At one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, House Speaker John Boehner was reflecting on his decision to resign.

There are advantages to leading a presidential race — you attract big crowds, big campaign cash and have more opportunity to get your message out there.

And then there's the 1 percent. We don't mean the superwealthy. We're talking about presidential candidates, like former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who are polling at just 1 percent in many polls.

O'Malley recently introduced himself to an audience of politically active Iowa Democrats, saying, "My name is Martin O'Malley. I am running for president and I need your help."

When Pope Francis addressed Congress on Thursday, he faced a body that is more Christian than the U.S. public as a whole — and also more Catholic.

First the numbers: Whereas nearly a quarter of the U.S. population says they have no religious affiliation, it's less than 1 percent in Congress.

Congress is "disproportionately religiously affiliated," said Alan Cooperman, director of religion research at the Pew Research Center. "That is, the share of members of Congress who say they have a religion is considerably higher than the share of all American adults."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has come out against the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. It's something she has spent months avoiding taking a position on — and her announcement coincided with the mass media event of Pope Francis' landing at Andrews Air Force Base.

Political conventions are, at least in theory, supposed to be about party unity. But on Saturday at New Hampshire's annual Democratic Party convention, a disagreement among Democrats over presidential debates broke out on the convention floor.

This post was updated at 8:30 a.m. ET to include debate metrics from Twitter

Like no doubt millions of Americans, Bernie Sanders tuned in to the Republican debate on CNN. But the Vermont independent who is running for the Democratic nomination for president didn't stop there.

The septuagenarian senator live tweeted the debate, with help from his 24-year-old digital director. That is, until just shy of 10:30 p.m., when he called it quits.

This is a story of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. It is the story of the meat straw. Yes, you read that right.

"It is a straw made out of pork," explains Ben Hirko of Coralville, Iowa, the man behind Benny's Original Meat Straws.

It's a half-inch in diameter, the same length as a standard plastic straw. And it has a hole running down the middle of it, through which you're meant to slurp up Bloody Marys.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET with more quotes from the White House briefing.

The White House did nothing to tamp down speculation Monday that Vice President Biden might mount a presidential bid in 2016. Press Secretary Josh Earnest heaped praise on the vice president and said President Obama could endorse — even in a race between Biden and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Student loans have become an issue in the presidential campaign, especially on the Democratic side. And it's no wonder. There are more than 40 million Americans with some $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

But people who study education finance say one widely popular proposal to help lessen the debt load may not be as good as it seems.

The first problem: the debt load

New Hampshire is in the throes of a drug epidemic driven by prescription opioids and heroin.

"The state of New Hampshire loses a citizen to an overdose death about every day," said Tym Rourke, chairman of the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

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



While the Republican candidates debated Thursday night, Democratic campaigns tried to make the most of the moment, offering rapid response.

At the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters on the 11th floor of an office building in Brooklyn, N.Y., about 50 staff members gathered to watch the debate. Some were working. Others were holding beers (at least one wrapped in the "Chillary Clinton" beer koozie sold in the campaign merch store).

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

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



Members of the Black Lives Matter movement are making sure the presidential candidates don't take their votes or their concerns for granted. The candidates are being confronted with activists who are responding to a string of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police.

Democrats have traditionally won strong margins with black voters and that is unlikely to change in 2016. But in recent weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has been a stumbling block for the Democratic candidates.

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

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



"Pics or it didn't happen" is a common refrain these days. You can't just experience life. You have to document it. And so, when fans line up to shake hands with a presidential candidate, that handshake often really isn't enough. It's all about the selfie — a self-portrait shot from a cellphone. And candidates are being deluged with selfie seekers on the trail.

Selfies are "a part of American culture" and, for candidates, taking them has to be part of a broader digital campaign strategy, said Brian Donahue, founder and CEO of Craft Media Digital, a political communications firm.

This campaign season, it was Donald Trump playing "Rockin' in the Free World" at his presidential announcement. Singer Neil Young was not happy.

But before Trump, there was "Dole Man," "Sarah Barracuda" and many other attempts by candidates to use popular songs, only to make musicians mad.

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



Fundraising is often used as a proxy for the strength of a campaign, and Hillary Clinton's team wants everyone to know she's $45 million strong. Clinton is the first major candidate to announce their fundraising haul this cycle ahead of a midmonth reporting deadline.

The State Department is set to release about 3,000 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state on Tuesday. The release is part of the State Department's schedule to release a bundle of Clinton emails every month through Jan. 29, 2016.

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



This post was updated at 5 p.m. ET

Hillary Clinton's speech Tuesday at a historic black church in Missouri was mostly well-received by the audience, but three words angered some of the activists she was hoping to appeal to.

Clinton spoke to frequent applause about religion, racism, access to education, repairing communities and the shooting last week in Charleston, S.C.

The church where Clinton spoke, Christ the King United Church of Christ, is in Florissant, Mo., fewer than 5 miles from where the rioting and protesting happened in Ferguson.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places that presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

How did a city kid, who grew up in a 3 1/2-room apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y., end up the mayor of Burlington, Vt., and later one of the state's two senators? For Bernie Sanders, it began with a subway ride into Manhattan with his brother.