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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Opinion
10:56 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 Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 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
7:38 am
Sat July 12, 2014

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Campaign spending in the Kentucky Senate race between GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes could reach $100 million.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 12:14 am

For the amount of money that's expected to be spent in the Kentucky race for U.S. Senate this year, you could buy a bottle of the state's own Maker's Mark whiskey for nearly every man, woman and child in the state.

Some observers say the election could end up as the most expensive Senate race in history, with spending topping $100 million. And why wouldn't it be? It's at the heart of the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

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Interviews
8:19 am
Sat July 5, 2014

How To Be A Professional Triangle Player In 17 Easy Steps

Sure, you can play the triangle — but can you play it well?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:01 pm

The participatory journalist George Plimpton did many things. He boxed against Sugar Ray Robinson. He tried his hand as a high wire circus performer. But he said the scariest thing he ever did was play the triangle with the New York Philharmonic.

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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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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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.

Iraq
4:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Obama Plans To Send Advisers To Iraq, Leaving Air Strikes On Table

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama announced today that the U.S. will send up to 300 special forces advisers into Iraq. He says they'll gather intelligence and assist Iraqi security forces. This comes as radical Islamists continue to march toward Baghdad. And as NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports, the president also is not ruling out airstrikes.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Obama is clear about this...

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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

Five months have passed since the expiration of the emergency unemployment benefits program for the long-term unemployed. Amid congressional delays, it's unclear whether those benefits ever will be extended.

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 Impact of War
7:46 am
Sat May 31, 2014

New Acting VA Secretary Faces Cultural Challenges

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 11:38 am

Eric Shinseki, secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has resigned over the growing health care scandal. He said remaining in office would only distract from carrying out needed reforms.

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