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

2:09am

Tue May 15, 2012
Election 2012

JPMorgan's Loss A Gain For Campaign Positioning

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

The U.S. and JPMorgan Chase flags wave outside its headquarters in New York on Friday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

The fallout from banking giant JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion — and counting — loss has made its way into the presidential campaign. The president and presumptive GOP challenger Mitt Romney have very different views about the regulation of Wall Street, in particular the Dodd-Frank financial systems overhaul law.

Read more

4:41pm

Fri May 11, 2012
Mitt Romney

Romney Shifts Gears On Auto Industry Bailout

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives for a town hall-style meeting at Stamco Industries, a truck parts supplier, in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

3:14am

Fri May 11, 2012
Politics

Candidates Forced To Juggle Inconsistent Economic Data

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, the presidential election is expected to turn on the economy, which means that every bit of economic news takes on political significance. Trouble is, we don't always know what to make of it when we hear that unemployment claims fell again. Sounds good. Or that the trade deficit jumped. Not so good. NPR's Tamara Keith and Scott Horsley will now help us sort that out.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Whatever story you want to tell about the U.S. economy, you can find some data points to make your case.

Read more

2:35am

Wed May 9, 2012
Politics

Sen. Lugar's 36-Year Career Ends With Primary Loss

Republican Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana has lost his bid for re-election. In Tuesday's primary, he was defeated by Tea Party challenger Richard Mourdock.

3:26pm

Mon May 7, 2012
Election 2012

Uphill Climb For Veteran Lugar In Tuesday Primary

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 6:26 am

Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (right) and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock participate in an April 11 debate in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

In Indiana, Republican primary voters Tuesday will decide whether to give GOP Sen. Richard Lugar the opportunity to seek a seventh term in November's general election. A recent independent poll shows him in trouble in his own party, with his Tea Party-backed opponent, Richard Mourdock, in the lead.

Read more

4:37am

Sat May 5, 2012
House & Senate Races

Lugar Struggles In Race Flooded By Outside Spending

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., speaks to reporters on Monday in South Bend, Ind.
James Brosher AP

3:54pm

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Most Small Businesses Don't Quite Fit The Political Picture

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 4:28 pm

Angela Caragan's A Cupcake Co. offers gourmet cupcakes for special events. Like more than 20 million other small-business owners in the U.S., she has no employees.
Courtesy of Angela Caragan

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

Read more

12:57am

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Small Businesses Get Big Political Hype. What's The Reality?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:46 am

Tourists walk near shops in the Maine seaside village of Northeast Harbor.
Dina Rudick Boston Globe via Getty Images

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a small-business tax cut bill offered up by Republicans. It's just the latest piece of legislation to focus on small businesses, which are widely praised in the political discourse as engines of job creation. The adoration is nearly universal — and it reflects something beyond economic reality.

"Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in this economy, so our recovery depends on them," President Obama said in 2012 at a New Jersey sandwich shop where he met with small-business owners.

Read more

2:59pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Million-Dollar Donors

SuperDonor Backs Romney — And Gay Marriage

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

Hedge fund manager Paul Singer of Elliott Management has donated $1 million to Mitt Romney's superPAC.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

When it comes to campaign money, there's one industry GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney can count on: finance.

Some of the single largest checks to the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future come from hedge fund managers. People at securities and investment firms have contributed more than $16 million.

Paul Singer, the man behind the hedge fund Elliott Management, has contributed $1 million.

As of Dec. 31, Elliott Management had $19.2 billion in assets, making it one of the nation's largest hedge funds.

Read more

2:00am

Tue April 17, 2012
Politics

Congressional Panels Probe Lavish GSA Spending

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:56 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

Read more

1:32am

Thu April 5, 2012
Election 2012

Longtime GOP Sen. Lugar Faces Stiff Tea Party Fight

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 7:03 am

Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (right) speaks with potential voters on March 31 in Evansville, Ind.
Tamara Keith NPR

Six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana is facing his first primary challenge since winning the job in the 1970s. The race is attracting big money from outside groups and superPACs, and is seen as a test of the strength of the Tea Party movement versus the power of incumbency.

Read more

3:26pm

Mon April 2, 2012
It's All Politics

As A Politician, Romney's Long Had Trouble Talking Cars

Mitt Romney has had issues in this campaign with cars.

You may remember his "two Cadillacs" comment in February, immediately characterized as a gaffe for a candidate who has often seemed to struggle with how to address his wealth on the trail.

"I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles," said Romney in Michigan. "I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann [his wife] drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually."

Read more

2:04am

Mon April 2, 2012
Mitt Romney

On Energy Policy, Romney's Emphasis Has Shifted

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 9:24 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns in Muskego, Wis., on Saturday.
Steven Senne AP

The GOP candidates for president have seized on high gas prices as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling.

But GOP front-runner Mitt Romney used to have a position seemingly at odds — at least in emphasis — with what he and the other Republicans are now advocating.

As Massachusetts governor, Romney said high gasoline prices "are probably here to stay," and he advocated policies to cut energy demand.

Read more

1:46am

Thu March 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Support For Ryan Budget Has Democrats Crying Foul

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in San Diego on Monday. Democrats have criticized his support for GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan.
Steven Senne AP

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on what's known as the Ryan budget, the spending plan from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that among other things changes the structure of Medicare and rewrites the tax code. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed the plan, but some are saying his rhetoric on the campaign trail may not match up with at least one reality of the Ryan budget.

Romney said he supported the Ryan budget the day it was unveiled.

"I applaud it," he said. "It's an excellent piece of work, and very much needed."

Read more

2:14pm

Thu March 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Insider Trading Ban Passes Congress, But Some See Missed Opportunity

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 5:59 pm

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, shown in August 2011, criticized the STOCK Act that passed Thursday, saying it didn't go far enough.
Brian Ray AP

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to explicitly ban insider trading by members of Congress and the executive branch, and that means the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act is headed to the president's desk.

But this STOCK Act is quite a bit weaker than earlier versions.

The STOCK Act has been on a glide path ever since an explosive 60 Minutes story last fall highlighted the issue of members of Congress apparently profiting on nonpublic information.

Read more

2:00am

Tue March 20, 2012
U.S.

House Republicans To Unveil Budget Plan

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This morning, House Republicans unveiled a new budget plan on Capitol Hill. And like President Obama's budget document last month, the GOP's version is as much a political statement as an actual road map. NPR's Tamara Keith has that story.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In some ways, this budget is a sequel. This time last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a controversial budget document that passed the House with strong GOP support.

(SOUNDBITE OF WEB VIDEO)

Read more

2:00am

Wed March 7, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Wins Ohio, A Pivotal Battleground State

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 4:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Perhaps it's fitting that the state that kept everyone up late last night, waiting for results, was Ohio. It's a swing state, and it seems every four years, in the fall, Ohio becomes the center of attention in a presidential election.

This year, as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, it just happened a little earlier.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Talk to Ohio voters - Republicans and Democrats alike - and there's one issue that rises above all the others.

MARVIN HAYWOOD: Number one: our economy.

Read more

6:00am

Sat March 3, 2012
Presidential Race

In Ohio, A Battle To Prove Electability

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 8:48 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, to Super Tuesday. Ohio may not offer the most delegates of the ten states who will vote on Super Tuesday, but it has become the most coveted state for all the candidates of the Republican nomination for president, a microcosm of the countrywide fight for supremacy. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney will all campaign there today. NPR's Tamara Keith has this campaign update from Cleveland.

Read more

2:00am

Thu March 1, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Touts Less Debt, Smaller Government In Ohio

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The battle over social issues in the Republican presidential primaries has extended through most of another week. This time the flashpoint was a remark by Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor said he opposed, and then clarified that he actually favors, legislation involving contraception.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports it was not what Romney intended to discuss in Ohio.

Read more

2:38pm

Mon February 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Casting Himself As Outsider, Santorum Benefited From D.C. 'Revolving Door'

On the campaign trail, Rick Santorum portrays himself as a Washington outsider. But the former senator has made money from inside-the-Beltway pursuits.
Jeff Kowalsky EPA/Landov

Rick Santorum is trying to shake up the Republican primary by winning the primary Tuesday in Michigan — and many polls show him neck and neck with Mitt Romney. He's a former senator from Pennsylvania best known as a culture warrior. What's less well known is what he did after losing his re-election bid in 2006.

Read more

Pages