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.

Pages

Politics
5:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

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

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:18 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Politics
5:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Obama Takes His State Of The Union Messages To YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:28 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Economy
4:15 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 1:58 pm

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

Read more
Politics
9:15 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 7:05 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.

Read more
Politics
4:19 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 6:23 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.

Read more
Politics
4:15 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 6:16 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:

Read more
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

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

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

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages