Bill Whalen

Research Fellow

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, 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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

an image
Featured Commentary

Gov. Jerry Brown Could Be A Hero In Our Water Crisis

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Friday, April 24, 2015

The truth is, an “exceptional” drought such as California’s doesn’t require extraordinary measures. The proper remedy, in addition to the heavens crying, is for the leader of one party to step up to the challenge, while those in the party out of power step out and beyond their comfort zone.

Jeb Bush

Can Jeb Become Persona Grata?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

If you don’t like what the Republicans and Democrats are offering in the way of presidential candidates, here’s an alternative: Waka Flocka Flame, an Atlanta-based rapper who wants to be your next commander-in-chief.

Dick Cheney at the February 2006 Board of Overseers meeting hosted at the White House.
Featured Commentary

Dick Cheney Knows What Republican Voters Want To Hear

by Bill Whalenvia Daily Caller (DC)
Monday, April 20, 2015

Now that 19 men and women with the ego to believe they should be America’s next president have traveled to New Hampshire and peddled their goods, we’ve learned one startling thing about 2016’s road to the White House.

California, There She Goes

by Bill Whalenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 20, 2015

When Senator Boxer leaves office—the first of California’s “big three” to retire—expect havoc and mayhem.

US senator Marco Rubio

And Rubio Makes It Three

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, April 13, 2015

And then there were three . . . Republicans running for the president, now that Marco Rubio has made it official.


New Video, New Campaign, A New Hillary?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Sunday, April 12, 2015

Under the guise of how to keep an idiot in suspense, I spent a good part of my Sunday waiting for Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated Twitter announcement.

Featured Commentary

Kevin Faulconer Could Be The State GOP’s Best Hope For 2018

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, April 9, 2015

Largely overlooked amidst last week’s news of a nuclear framework with Iran and California’s first-ever mandatory water restrictions was word of Republicans’ share of this state’s registered voters falling below 28 percent.

Rand Paul, US Senator from Kentucky, visits the Hoover Institution.

Rand Currency?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

And then there were two announced presidential candidates (well, more like 195 if you dig a little deeper through the FEC’s files), now that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has officially tossed his hat in the ring (here’s the video).

Breaking Chain

Chaining Of The Guard

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Defiant Ones, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier, was more than a tale about two escapees from a chain gang trying to make their way to freedom. Because it also was the story of a white man and a black man shackled together, their fate tied to their ability to get along (“They’ll kill each other in the first five minutes,” the sheriff predicts), it flirted with the issue of racial cooperation — the civil rights movement soon to blossom.


Reiding Between The Lines

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Monday, March 30, 2015

His decision not to seek another Senate sent Washington into a tizzy last week, begging questions as to what prompted the surprise career choice and what it portends for control of the chamber beyond 2016.