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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5:14am

Fri November 7, 2014
Politics

The Awkward Post-Election White House Lunch

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:27 pm

President George W. Bush shakes hands with Nancy Pelosi during their post-election meeting at the White House in November 2006.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama is having lunch with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday. This sort of post-election sit-down after power shifts away from the president's party has become something of a Washington tradition. An awkward one.

"Hey Mitch, can you pass the biscuits?"

"And while you're at it, what about tax reform?"

Oh, who are we kidding? They probably don't serve buttery biscuits at this White House. And we may never find out exactly what President Obama and congressional Republicans discuss over lunch.

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5:11am

Thu November 6, 2014
Politics

On What Issues Can Obama And The Republican Leadership Agree?

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 11:15 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:09am

Tue November 4, 2014
Politics

Polls Show New Hampshire's U.S. Senate Race Is A Tossup

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 12:35 pm

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

5:00am

Wed October 29, 2014
Politics

Wisconsin Democratic Candidate Welcomes Obama When Others Won't

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:30 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:42pm

Thu October 23, 2014
It's All Politics

Meet The Hero Dogs Of The Secret Service

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:27 pm

Jordan, one of the dogs being hailed as a hero for attacking a White House fence-jumper Wednesday night.
Courtesy of the Secret Service

Hurricane "enjoys playing with his Kong toy." Jordan is partial to walks around the White House. Both have brown eyes and, according to tweets from the Secret Service, are "ready to work." Meet the hero dogs, who helped take down the latest man to jump the fence at the White House.

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4:51pm

Tue October 21, 2014
Politics

Obama Has To Balance His Base Without Hurting Dems In Red States

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 7:01 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In a radio interview with Al Sharpton yesterday, the president urged African-American voters not to sit out the midterm elections, even if the Democratic Senate candidates and their states have been distancing themselves from him.

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7:14am

Tue October 21, 2014
Politics

In Tight Races, Both Parties Bank On Early Votes

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:48 pm

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

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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4:05pm

Fri October 17, 2014
Politics

New 'Ebola Czar' Has Political, Not Public Health, Background

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:26 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:34am

Thu October 16, 2014
Politics

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

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 1:47 pm

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

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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4:27pm

Tue October 14, 2014
Politics

Pizza Man Delivers Third-Party Option

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 6:15 pm

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

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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