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

Analysis and Commentary

Debate Night: Trump Struggles, Clinton Clings To Facts And Figures, Holt Stumbles

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump coincided with the anniversary of the famous Nixon-Kennedy debate – the first major-party debate to be shown nationwide on television.

Analysis and Commentary

On Monday Night, Welcome To The 13-State Presidential Debate

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, September 24, 2016

Let’s clear up two misconceptions about Monday’s much-anticipated debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. First, there’s the notion that this will generate a viewing audience of Super Bowl proportions.

Analysis and Commentary

Five Questions To Consider Before Trump Meets Hillary At Hofstra

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, September 23, 2016

With Monday’s presidential debate looming – the first of three such scheduled affairs – here are five questions to ponder.

Analysis and Commentary

Despite The Many Reboots And Updates, Hillary Struggles To Find A Faster Operating System

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Monday, September 19, 2016

Soon after last week’s news of her pneumonia diagnosis, Hillary Clinton’s campaign previewed a new-and-improved version of the candidate soon to re-emerge: tougher, more focused, putting to rest any doubts about her health and stamina . . . and electability.

Analysis and Commentary

Tweeting A Two-Bit Notion To Banish George Washington

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, September 15, 2016

It’s not just the clever minds under the state Capitol dome that can make America wonder if California has taken leave of its senses.

Analysis and Commentary

A Healthy Reminder That It's Trump, Not Oz, Who's the Wizard Of Reality Television

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Leave it to Donald Trump, veteran of the reality-television circuit, to turn his health records into a reality circus.

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Making Sense Of The 2016 Election

by Morris P. Fiorina, David Brady, Douglas Rivers, Bill Whalenvia Stanford News
Monday, September 12, 2016

A few Stanford political experts are gathering in cyberspace to help people make sense of the 2016 election.

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Four Takeways From Hillary’s ‘Medical Episode’ About The Health Of Her Campaign

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Sunday, September 11, 2016

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on television, so I’ll take a pass on diagnosing Hillary Clinton’s medical condition. Instead, I’m reading Mrs. Clinton’s political chart. And it indicates at least four ways that concerns over her personal health could adversely affect the health of her presidential run.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Analysis and Commentary

Hey Abbott! Or So Might Be The Republicans' Next Rallying Cry

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, September 8, 2016

We’re going to hit the fast-forward button in this column – way past the upcoming election and whatever 2017 has to offer in the way of a new White House and Congress.

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As The Election Passes Labor Day, A Question Of Whether Hillary Intends To Labor Any Harder

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, September 4, 2016

As we examine the state of the presidential race heading into Labor Day, it’s hard to ignore the impression that Hillary Clinton’s campaign seems to be . . . well, laboring.