Bill Whalen

Research Fellow

Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow since 1999, writes and comments on campaigns, elections and governance with an emphasis on California and America’s political landscapes.

Whalen is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee and writes on politics and current events for His commentary can also be seen on the opinion pages of the Wall Street JournalReal Clear Politics, Los Angeles Times and the Fox News’ website.

Whalen has been a guest political analyst on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN. He’s also a regular guest on the nationally syndicated radio shows hosted by John Batchelor, Larry Kudlow, Lars Larson and the Bay Area’s Michael Krasny.

Whalen has served as a media consultant for California political hopefuls and aspiring policy leaders. His past clients have included former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former congressman Tom Campbell and former Los Angeles mayor Richard J. Riordan.

Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, Whalen served as chief speechwriter and director of public affairs for former California governor Pete Wilson. In that capacity, he was responsible for the governor's annual State of the State address, as well as other major policy addresses.

Before moving to California, Whalen was a political correspondent for Insight Magazine, the national newsweekly and sister publication of the Washington Times, where he was honored for his profiles and analysis of candidates, campaigns, Congress, and the White House. During those years, Whalen also appeared frequently on C-SPAN, National Public Radio, and CNBC.

In addition to his time in Washington as a political journalist, Whalen served as a speechwriter for the Bush-Quayle reelection campaign and was a senior associate with the public relations firm Robinson-Lake/Sawyer-Miller, offering media and political advice for domestic and foreign clientele.

Whalen currently resides in Palo Alto, California.

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Recent Commentary

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Alpha Dog Days

by Bill Whalenvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 21, 2016

What this confusing presidential campaign has unleashed. 

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Trump, Clinton, Wallace: Winners And Losers From The Final Presidential Debate

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Since Hollywood is revisiting Bill Murray movies (if you’re lucky, you missed the “Ghostbusters” reboot), why not another run at “Groundhog Day”?

Analysis and Commentary

Honeymoon In Vegas? Not At This Debate--And Not With These Two

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Let’s dispense with the clichés heading into this third and final presidential debate. Such as: Donald being at the end of his tether and in need of game-changer.


Trump Vs. Clinton: What To Look For In The Third And Final Debate

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The best thing about holding what might be a repugnant brawl of a presidential debate in Las Vegas? It’s hard to shock the locals.

The Honorable George P. Shultz is a charter member of the Hoover Legacy Society.

Let's Start Selecting Presidents By Using A Shultz Standard, By George

by Bill Whalenfeaturing George P. Shultzvia Forbes
Saturday, October 15, 2016

There’s growing talk of how to mend the Republican Party moving forward, should Donald Trump crash and burn on Election Day — and take a portion of the GOP with him.

Analysis and Commentary

Whom To Write In For President?

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, October 13, 2016

As you read this, I’m in Cancun, explaining to Mexican and Canadian officials how America got into this lose-lose of a presidential election.

Analysis and Commentary

In The People's Debate, Trump Should Turn To The People, Hillary Should Play It Cool

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, October 9, 2016

Gee, I can’t imagine what they’ll discuss in tonight’s presidential debate. I can’t think of anything salacious, libidinous or licentiousness – not to mention overblown – having occurred in the last 48 hours.


Trump Comes Out Swinging And Wins Second Debate

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Sunday, October 9, 2016

It’s a strange time to be in St. Louis. For the first time since 2010, the Cardinals failed to make the playoffs. The St. Louis Rams are no more, having returned to their Los Angeles past.

Analysis and Commentary

Hillary Clinton, Pitching For The Cubs?

by Bill Whalenvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, October 7, 2016

Two political crises are fast approaching. One would be a very unpopular figure soon to inherit the American presidency. He or she will be tasked with trying to heal a deep and bitter partisan divide that shows no signs of calming.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Vs. Hillary: Three Things To Look For At The Showdown In St. Louis

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, October 7, 2016

Prior to Tuesday’s offering in Farmville, the last such national candidates’ debate in the Commonwealth of Virginia was in 1992 – well before Blackberries, back taxes and beauty queens drove the presidential narrative.