Bill Whalen

Research Fellow
Biography: 

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 Forbes.com. 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

Analysis and Commentary

If Trump Wants To Be The One, Why Not Promise One Term And Done?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, August 20, 2016

It just wouldn’t be a day on the campaign trail without a little media snark directed (fairly, sometimes unfairly) in Donald Trump’s direction – yesterday being no exception.

Featured

Initiative System Needs Some Fixes

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, August 18, 2016

With all due respect to the terrible wildfires, there’s another tragedy awaiting California’s landscape: A vast number of trees giving their lives to November voter information guides.

Analysis and Commentary

As Maine Goes, So Should Trump...To Campaign In More Relevant States

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lest I be accused of piling on, I’ll resist the temptation to chime in on Donald Trump’s bad week – a series of unnecessary spats and off-color, off-key comments that sent the media into a tizzy and some Republicans into therapy.

Featured

Kennedy, Brown And Talk Of Political Dynasties

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, August 4, 2016

In the aftermath of both parties’ national conventions, it seems oddly appropriate that a new documentary, “I Am JFK Jr.,” should show up on cable television this week.

Analysis and Commentary

In Hillary's Circus World, It's The Clown And The Juggler

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, July 30, 2016

Representing as they might the in-power party, some presidential nominees will seek a disappearing act – think Al Gore wishing Bill Clinton would vanish in 2000.

Analysis and Commentary

Meet Hillary Clinton 4.0. Can This Change-Maker, Fighter And Peacemaker Beat Donald Trump?

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, July 29, 2016

One way to parse Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech: Hillary 2016 is in fact Hillary 4.0 – firmware styled and restyled for a 21st Century market.

Analysis and Commentary

In Philadelphia, Democrats Welcome And Fear A "Rocky" Convention

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, July 23, 2016

At this time a week ago, we looked at what Donald Trump and Republicans could look forward to in Cleveland. This week, it’s Hillary Clinton’s turn.

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Speaks To America’s ‘Forgotten Men And Women’ In Big, Bold Speech

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, July 22, 2016

A postscript to the 2016 Republican National Convention: just how is the wide of a gulf between a Fourth Estate that nitpicked and nunchucked the Republicans’ every move in Cleveland and a viewing audience drawn to this convention’s more forthright rhetoric?

California flag
Featured

California Should Host All National Party Conventions

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Friday, July 22, 2016

As we’re in the calm between the two storms of the party conventions, here’s a halftime report.

Analysis and Commentary

Four Things We've Learned (So Far) From The Republican Convention

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What have we learned, so far, about the Republican National Convention? Like the man’s many properties, Donald Trump’s name ought to be on this Cleveland production.

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