White House Correspondent Tamara Keith

Murray State’s public radio station, 91.3 WKMS, is hosting a free public event with. And, yes, iList got an exclusive interview! This amazing lady was a model as a child and has been in print and television ads. She loves her job and her family, and we love her! iMeet so many people, but Tamara Keith takes the cake (without ice cream though…)

An Evening with Tamara Keith

Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 8. WKMS and Murray State's Town and Gown presents An Evening with NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith. This free community event at MSU's Wrather Auditorium at 7:30pm. You can submit questions in advance by emailing msu.wkms@murraystate.edu; You may also submit a question at the free talk.

NPR White House Correspondent and PBS Newshour contributor Tamara Keith covered Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. Keith is also co-host of the NPR Politics Podcast. 

Prior to moving into her current role in January 2014, Keith was a Congressional Correspondent who put an emphasis on covering House Republicans, the budget, taxes, and the fiscal fights that dominated at the time. She began covering Congress in August 2011.

Welcome to iMeet, Tamara. We’re very excited that you’re coming to Murray State University this Thursday for a dinner and talk. Tell us a little about yourself...

I started out in the Los Angeles area and my family worked our way north in California to the Fresno area for my formative years and on to Berkeley for college. I claim Hanford, California, as my hometown because that’s where I went to high school. It’s a smallish town in central California.

I read you were a former child model...would we know any of your work?

I did a few commercials and was in an episode of a show called The Judge. There were a lot of department store newspaper ads, a magazine spread advertising the Suzuki Samuri, a commercial for Coast Soap and a billboard for the California Milk Board.

I heard you graduated high school early... 

Yes, I was just 16 - I skipped my junior year. It turns out it was pretty easy to meet all the graduation requirements in three years instead of four just by taking an early morning physical education class. It meant lifting weights with the football team, but I survived.

Tell us about your family...

I am married and our son is 4 1/2. My husband and I actually met the first day of college. Our dog of 15 1/2 years, Jezebel, just passed away, which was really tough…and still is. 

Ok, so you’re a White House Correspondent for NPR… that has to be fascinating! 

I am one of NPR’s White House correspondents and also co-host of the NPR Politics podcast. The podcast means I get to sit in a studio once or twice a week with my very smart colleagues and gab about politics. I learn something every time and have a ton of fun.

The White House gig is like the most high profile and high pressure, general assignment reporting position around. One day I could be covering taxes, the next day Russia and the day after that the conflict in Syria. You never know when you wake up in the morning how your day might end up. 

Where have you worked previously? 

I am a public radio junkie, through and through. Before NPR I worked at (in order of appearance on my resume) KQED, WOSU, KPCC, KQED, and Marketplace, the public radio business show.

You covered Hillary Clinton during the election...did you get to meet her? What was she like? 

Funny story, I followed her all over the country, flew on the same plane with her for the last couple of months, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say I really met her. I interviewed her over the phone for four minutes in June 2016 and there were a couple of short interactions on the plane. I asked questions during press conferences and she answered them. But I never actually introduced myself.

You are currently covering the White House...what is that like? 

Intense. And exhausting. (There’s a lot I could say, but I think we’re going to have to save it for the event Thursday night!)

What's the best part about your job? What's the hardest? 

This job is never boring. I’m always in the mix on the biggest stories of the day. But the hard part is never feeling like I can catch up, like there’s always something more, that I just can’t do it all. 

What would your dream assignment be? 

This kind of is my dream assignment, and I haven’t really had time to think about what else I would do. I guess I would love to have this job, but with more opportunities to get out into America and talk to people who aren’t politicians. 

It's getting hot outside...what's your favorite flavor of ice cream? 

I have dairy issues. Sad! So, my favorite ice cream is lemon sorbet because it doesn’t contain dairy.

Would you rather swim in the ocean or a swimming pool?

Open water freaks me out, but I still love the feel of the ocean. I can’t prove it, but I believe the salt water has healing properties.

Well that little teaser has really whet our appetite for the event later this week. Thank you for being on iMeet this week, Tamara.