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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U.S.
7:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Obama Wraps Up A 'Breakthrough' 2014

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:33 am

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Politics
5:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

When Big Money Leads To Diplomatic Posts

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 7:22 pm

When describing her qualifications for the job, the newly confirmed U.S. ambassador to Hungary cited a "product" she helped develop that is exported to "more than 100 countries, for daily consumption with more than 40 million viewers."

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Around the Nation
7:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

In Las Vegas, Obama Sells His Immigration Plan

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:21 am

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Politics
4:27 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Obama Takes Sales Pitch For Immigration Action On The Road

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 6:36 pm

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Politics
9:04 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

President Obama Announces Executive Action On Immigration

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 11:03 pm

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Transcript

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants.

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Asia
6:23 am
Fri November 14, 2014

In Myanmar, Obama Holds News Conference With Opposition Leader

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 7:58 am

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

Politics
7:14 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 2:48 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
3:34 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 1:47 pm

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
4:52 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 6:15 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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National Security
5:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Amid Scandal, Secret Service Director Resigns

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:16 am

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

Politics
5:10 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 1:11 pm

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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U.S.
1:20 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama Emphasizes Coalition In Comments On Syrian Strikes

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Politics
6:08 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Anticipating Attacks, GOP Campaigns Focus On Courting Women Voters

In this ad from Republican Stewart Mills, his wife Heather says he dons pink heels each year to raise money for victims of domestic violence.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 10:57 pm

At the Democratic party's annual Women's Leadership Forum Friday, Hillary Clinton delivered a message that could have come straight from the script being used by Democratic candidates all over the country.

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U.S.
5:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

House Approves Bill To Train, Arm Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:03 pm

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

Around the Nation
5:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. He describes the battle that earned him the medal as the toughest he saw in three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:43 am

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

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It's All Politics
10:13 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Obama's Hawkish Plan For Islamic State Puts Doves In A Quandary

President Obama's plan to degrade and destroy the Islamic state poses a challenge for members of his own party, who have traditionally provided the anti-war voices in Congress.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 3:47 pm

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

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Politics
4:16 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Two Ways President Obama Could Act On Immigration

Immigration advocates from Fort Lauderdale, Florida demonstrate outside the White House in April 2014.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 8:51 pm

Sometime before the end of summer, President Obama is expected to take executive action to address the nation's broken immigration system.

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The Salt
10:55 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Making An All-American White House Dinner With Some African Flair

White House chefs chop a lot of vegetables to prepare for a dinner of 400 Tuesday night.
Gregory Barber/NPR

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 1:12 pm

Think of it as a state dinner for an entire continent. Tuesday night, after the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit sessions wrap up, the president and the first lady will host 50 heads of state and the chairman of the African Union for dinner. The 400 guests will be treated to a traditional American meal with an African twist in a gigantic tent on the South Lawn and enjoy a performance by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.

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NPR Story
5:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

As Senate Leaves For Recess, House Keeps Working On A Border Bill

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am

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News
8:02 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Obama Unrolls New Sanctions Against Russia

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:00 pm

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Opinion
10:33 am
Sat July 12, 2014

A Mother's Essay Challenges Assumptions About Poverty

Darlena Cunha says that she wrote her essay about her family's temporary poverty so her twin daughters would learn not to judge people on government assistance.
Courtesy of Darlena Cunha

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:09 pm

The stereotype of the so-called welfare queen driving a luxury car while leaching off of society is an enduring one.

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Politics
6:23 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Administration Focuses On Challenges Working Families Face

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 11:11 am

Transcript

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Iraq
6:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Political Solution Needed In Iraq, Obama Says

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:29 am

President Obama is sending up to 300 military advisers to Iraq to gather intelligence on the insurgency. He was adamant there will be no American combat operations on the ground in Iraq.

Politics
9:26 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Upset Of Eric Cantor Deals A Shock To GOP Establishment

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 10:20 pm

Eric Cantor became the first house majority leader ever to lose a primary, losing the GOP nomination to Tea Party challenger David Brat in the Republican primary.

Politics
4:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

What Happened To Unemployment Benefits?

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:46 pm

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

Transcript

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Politics
5:13 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Release Of Sgt. Bergdahl May Have Come At A High Cost

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:48 am

Bowe Bergdahl's release and the prisoner swap that made it possible are raising thorny foreign policy questions, which are being voiced most loudly at this point by congressional Republicans.

The Salt
4:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

First Lady Fights To Keep Healthful School Lunch Law Intact

First lady Michelle Obama has been doing a lot of high-fiving with schoolchildren like these in Dallas to promote healthful lifestyles. Now she's diving more deeply into the politics of school lunch.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:53 am

First lady Michelle Obama is by far one of the most popular political figures in America, because she's largely avoided appearing too political — instead devoting much of her attention to encouraging good nutrition and healthful lifestyles for America's children.

But that cause has run head-on into a congressional fight over stalling some of the nutritional gains of the school lunch program, which she helped put in place.

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Politics
10:11 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Conservatives Brainstorm To Win Voters In The Middle

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., says that Great Society social programs aren't helping working people.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

Election watchers say Republicans could take control of the Senate this fall. At the same time, many of these same analysts see problems for the Grand Old Party in the longer term.

Republican voters tend to be white, older and more affluent, and their share of the overall population is shrinking. That's why at least some conservatives think it's time for the party to broaden its appeal to the middle class.

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She Votes
5:58 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Best Way To Get Women To Run For Office? Ask Repeatedly

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., plays in the annual Congressional Women's Softball game in 2011. She says it's hard to get more women to run for office.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 5:34 pm

Women make up less than 20 percent of those serving in Congress, but more than half the population. There are many reasons for this, but one simple answer comes back again and again. It's about recruiting.

When Monica Youngblood got the call, she thought it was a joke. The call came from a man she had worked to help get elected.

"It's your time," she says he told her. "We need people like you in Santa Fe. We need a voice like yours who's lived here, who's been through what you've been through. I think you need to really consider it."

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Politics
6:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Obama's Favorite County — At Least When It Comes To Giving Speeches

President Obama speaks during an April 7 visit to Bladensburg High School in Bladensburg, Md. It was his fourth visit to Prince George's County in as many months.
Aude Guerrucci-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 1:11 am

Residents of Prince George's County, Md., might just get sick of hearing "Hail to the Chief." President Obama has visited this county to deliver policy addresses more than any other in his second term.

"Hello Maryland. It's good to see you," the president said enthusiastically in January at a Costco in Lanham, Md. "I love to get outside of the Beltway, even if it is just a few hundred feet away."

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