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.

Six months ago, when President Obama announced sweeping and polarizing executive actions on immigration, immigrant families all over the country were watching his rare prime-time address.

But those actions have now fallen out of the headlines and the highest-profile changes are on hold.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's red and black and not much larger than a brick.

But the unmanned flying device, that looked more like a toy than a drone, was a big enough problem to put the White House, executive mansion and surrounding area on lock down for about an hour while it was checked out.

The small "unmanned aerial vehicle" was spotted flying 100 feet above Lafayette Park at lunchtime Thursday afternoon, according to the U.S. Secret Service. The park is right across the street from the White House.

There is always a tension between the press and the candidates they cover. Journalists want access, and want to ask questions. Campaigns want to control the message. Over time, that has especially been true with Hillary Clinton.

When Hillary Clinton's campaign was looking for a place for her to make an announcement this week about immigration policy, it chose Rancho High School in Las Vegas.

Clinton visited this school in 2007, when she was running for president the first time. Barack Obama visited the campus twice during that campaign season. The backdrop wasn't a coincidence.

Rancho High School's population is 70 percent Hispanic, and it has a proud history of political involvement.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

When it comes to energizing Latino voters, a group of young people who can't even vote plays an outsized role.

They are known as DREAMers — undocumented immigrants, brought to the country by their parents when they were kids.They were so named for meeting the requirements under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act proposal that would have created a pathway to citizenship for them. Now they're a political force.

With the fires out and much of the glass cleaned up in Baltimore, the "soul searching" as President Obama called it, has begun. For those hoping to become the next president of the United States, weighing in presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

Hillary Clinton told an audience in New York Wednesday, the criminal justice system is "out of balance."

The House Select Committee on Benghazi announced plans to call Hillary Clinton to testify next month, right around the time her campaign was reportedly going to shift into high gear with a mid-May campaign kickoff speech.

At the same time, a new book about the Clinton foundation is generating the kind of headlines and news coverage no presidential candidate wants to see.

Editor's Note: This is a reporter's notebook from NPR's Tamara Keith, who is covering the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The e-mail from the Clinton campaign came late on Monday. Meet at the Panera Bread in Davenport, Iowa, at 9:45 in the morning. I was to be one of about a dozen reporters in a press pool given access to an unpublicized stop. What we quickly learned was that the restaurant was a decoy. The unannounced meet-and-greet was happening at a small coffee shop 20 minutes away in Le Claire.

Hillary Clinton officially launched the campaign everyone has been expecting for months — years, really. She's running for president and to finally break open that glass ceiling she famously said her last campaign put "18 million cracks" in.

Jeralean Talley is the world's oldest living person. She is 115 years old and inherited the title earlier this week from a 116-year-old Arkansas woman who died of pneumonia. She was preceded by a 117-year-old woman from Japan who died the week before. Death, it seems, is a hazard of being the oldest person in the world.

And in the case of those who outlast the rest and earn the title of most senior human, it is often a life well lived.

Many Americans have a pre-formed opinion of Hillary Clinton, who is expected to announce her candidacy for president this weekend. Call it a blessing — or, simply, an inevitable effect — of being in the public eye for so long. But Clinton has long implied that the public perception of her is all wrong.

The long will-she-or-won't-she charade is nearly over. A source with knowledge of Hillary Clinton's campaign plans tells NPR's Mara Liasson she will announce on Sunday that she's running for president.

But don't expect a big rally with thousands of cheering supporters. For her second run at the presidency, the former secretary of state and first lady is going small. Think Starbucks doing small batch coffee roasts.

One of the biggest names in American politics is out to prove she's taking nothing for granted.

At the end of the grueling 2008 primary fight, Hillary Clinton gathered supporters in Washington, D.C., and delivered perhaps the most memorable line of her whole campaign.

"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it," Clinton said to roaring applause.

It's a line, one could say, that began paving the way for her seemingly inevitable 2016 campaign.

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