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.

For the first 30 minutes of the Democratic debate, the attacks in Paris loomed large, starting with a moment of silence and continuing with the opening statements.

The candidates were asked to address the attacks and what they would do in their opening statements, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent her entire opening statement talking about them.

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



The conservative Christian college Liberty University is the last place you'd expect to find a Jewish politician on Rosh Hashanah. But that's exactly where Bernie Sanders was on the first day of the Jewish New Year.

As the campus band sang about the resurrection of Jesus, Sanders stood at the back of the stage. Then he delivered a speech about social justice. And when it was over, without any publicity or fanfare, he went to the home of Michael Gillette, the mayor of Lynchburg, Va.

All week long, Bernie Sanders has been getting questions about sexism. The charges have been fueled by comments his campaign manager made, saying Sanders would consider Clinton for vice president.

These are not the sorts of questions the Vermont senator, who considers himself a feminist, and candidate for the Democratic nomination wants to be answering.

Should he even have to answer them? Is the accusation fair? Does it go too far?

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



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



This post was updated at 11:10 PM on October 24, 2015.

Passing through a human crush of reporters at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, Hillary Clinton entered a hearing room where she displayed a kind of unearthly stamina, as the only witness during a hearing that spanned 11 hours. How, you might ask, did she get through it?

American voters have long been intrigued by the idea of the outsider CEO who could bring corner-office credentials to Oval-Office problems.

Think Ross Perot, Mitt Romney and, of course, this presidential election season there's Donald Trump and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Hillary Clinton faced 11 hours of questioning before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday, and when it was over, it was hard to say how much new light was shed on the 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans while she was secretary of state.

For many, there was just one question when the hearing began at 10 a.m. ET: Was it a genuine effort to discover new information about the Benghazi attack, or was it a partisan effort designed to rough up the leading Democratic candidate for president?

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



Clinton-Castro 2016?

Julián Castro endorsed Hillary Clinton on Thursday. The secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the second Obama Cabinet official to endorse Clinton — even as Vice President Biden is still considering getting in the race. (Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also endorsed Clinton earlier this year.)

Castro would likely be on the vice-presidential short lists for whomever wins the Democratic nomination.

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



Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off for the first time on stage Tuesday night, along with fellow Democratic candidates Lincoln Chafee, Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb.

Both Clinton and Sanders have said they are running positive campaigns, but if their previous debate experience is any indication, that could change on debate night. In the past, both have shown a willingness to turn tough on their opponents.

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/.