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

Democrat's Donkey
Blogs

The Martin Chronicles

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, March 2, 2015

Just a few days ago, a not-so-veiled swipe at the politics of “triangulation” fueled speculation that former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was gearing up for a challenge to Hillary Clinton.

Florida governor Jeb Bush
Blogs

A CPAC Bush-Whacking?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Thursday, February 26, 2015

Former Florida Gov. and expected presidential candidate Jeb Bush is scheduled to make an appearance tomorrow at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

California flag
Featured Commentary

California GOP Can Find Lessons In Illinois, Wisconsin

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, February 26, 2015

The California Republican Party kicks off its winter convention Friday, across the street from the state Capitol. The bad news is that’s the closest to the Governor’s Office that the state GOP is getting in the foreseeable future unless there’s a seismic shift in the political landscape.

US Ballot Box Image
Blogs

Walker Derangement Syndrome?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A new Quinnipiac University Poll has Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pulling ahead of the Republican field in the state that kicks off the GOP’s selection process next February.

Blogs

Marco . . . Rubio?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, February 23, 2015

I’m in Washington, D.C., where some of the political buzz centers around Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and the “to be or not to be”/”will he or won’t he?” question of his future plans.

Blogs

Will California (Once Again) Fear the Reefer?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, February 23, 2015

On Tuesday, and with little fanfare (maybe that’s because smoke has a hard time wafting down from the Last Frontier to the Lower 48), Alaska became just the third state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana use.

Coffee
Blogs

Which Political Greats Don’t Get The Upgrade?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Thursday, February 19, 2015

One of my guilty pleasures is listening to Bill Simmons’ “The B.S. Report” podcast, especially when he dials up his college buddy, John O’Connell.

O’Connell, aka “Jacko”, is a devout New York Yankees fan. Simmons is a diehard Red Sox fan, so they know how to push each others’ buttons.

Blogs

A Murky Republican Field

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, February 16, 2015

The end of this week — Feb. 20 — marks one year until the Republican presidential caucuses in Nevada, the third stop on the GOP’s march to Cleveland.

Blogs

2016: The Poli-Sci View

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Saturday, February 14, 2015

The 2016 presidential election includes at least these 3 storylines:

Blogs

The Democrats’ W.C. Fields Day

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Friday, February 13, 2015

Apparently, they rather would be in Philadelphia.

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