Bill Whalen

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Bill Whalen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he studies and writes on current events and political trends with an emphasis on California's political landscape. As a research fellow, he is a contributor to the Hoover Digest and Policy Review, which are also published by Hoover.

Whalen writes frequently for leading California opinion makers including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the San Diego Union Tribune. His by-line also appears on the Weekly Standard's website, www.weeklystandard.com. He has been a guest political analyst on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. He can also be seen and heard on Bay Area radio and television, commenting on current events, in addition to frequent appearances on the nationwide radio program hosted by Hoover media fellow John Batchelor.

Whalen also serves as a media consultant for California political hopefuls and aspiring policy leaders. His clients have included former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California secretary of state Bill Jones, former congressman Tom Campbell and former Los Angeles mayor Richard J. Riordan.

From 1994 to 1999, Whalen was the 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.

A native of Washington, D.C., Whalen was steeped in politics long before he relocated to California. From 1985 to 1991, 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. In citing Whalen as one of its "top-ten" political reporters, The 1992 Media Guide said of his work: "The New York Times could trade six of its political writers for Whalen and still get a bargain." 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 in 1992. In 1993, he 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

Analysis and Commentary

While We're Amending The Constitution, Why Not Include Presidential Eligibility?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, August 30, 2015

The kerfuffle over the 14th Amendment and birth-citizenship has put Republicans in at least two rough spots, neither of which makes for good politics.

Analysis and Commentary

On Arnold, Ronald And The Donald

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Friday, August 28, 2015

Today’s Sacramento Bee has this column, authored by yours truly, on Donald Trump and his California connections.

Featured

Trump Doesn’t Compare To Reagan, Or Schwarzenegger

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, August 27, 2015

Let’s take a break from such taxing matters as gasoline and tobacco and talk about a political commodity equally as toxic and combustible – Donald Trump.

Analysis and Commentary

Obama 2016 — Michelle, Not Barack

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

To the assumption that there’s but one Democrat in the White House who can ride to the party’s rescue and save it from the comedy/tragedy that is Hillary Clinton’s presidential effort — his name being Vice President Joe Biden — I’d like to suggest an alternative.

Analysis and Commentary

Democrats' Amtrak Route To The Presidency

by Bill Whalenvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

For a for-profit corporation that bleeds money – $44 billion in federal subsidies over the past 45 years to keep intercity passenger rail service afloat – Amtrak should do some brisk business in July 2016.

Analysis and Commentary

Amtrak Democrats

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I just wrote this column for Real Clear Politics on what I call the five “Amtrak Democrats” seeking the presidency in 2016.

Analysis and Commentary

Forget About Biden's Possible 2016 Bid--What About Michelle Obama?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I’ve been watching the speculation over Vice President Joe Biden jumping into the presidential sweepstakes and the conventional wisdom seems to boil down to two schools of thought in favor of said run: 1) As Biden sits at the right hand of President Obama, he’s more likely and better suited to defend the administration’s record, running as a continuum of 2008’s “hope".

Jeb Bush
Featured

Bush Battles The 'Wimp Factor' (The 2016 Edition)

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Three events that transpired last week speak to the challenges facing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in securing the Republican presidential nomination.

Analysis and Commentary

Five 2016 Candidates Who Could Change The GOP

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, August 17, 2015

I posted this piece to my Forbes.com blog. The premise: once your start narrowing the field of 17 Republican presidential candidates, there are arguably five candidates with the potential to move the party in a different direction — in doing so, easing the GOP into a post-Reagan identity that’s eluded Republicans since the end of the Cold War.

Featured

The Five Candidates Best Suited To Reorient The GOP

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Monday, August 17, 2015

With all due respect to the 17 Republicans who took part in this month’s Cleveland debate, maybe it’s time to start separating the wheat from the chaff.

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