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

Introduction

Go West, Young Man . . . to a Nation-State Openly at War with the Nation’s New President

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hotel California? Not quite. In 2017, it’s Hostile California.

Featured

Four Things To Watch For When President Trump Takes The Stage

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The temptation was to write something snarky about Donald Trump’s swearing-in and inaugural address given that . . . well, it’s Trump and we’re still waiting to see if showbiz, showmanship and the Democrats’ unrelenting urge to show him up can comingle.

Featured

The Five Biggest Takeaways From Trump's First Press Conference As President-Elect

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday morning at Trump Tower, President-elect Donald Trump held his first extended media gathering in over five-and-a-half months – in Trump’s words, a “general news conference”.

Analysis and Commentary

The Hidden Message In Obama's 'Farewell' Speech

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Five days into the 1993 calendar – 15 days before his White House stay concluded – George H.W. Bush traveled to West Point for one last presidential address.

Analysis and Commentary

For Obama, A Farewell Address . . . Or One Last Abuse Of The First-Person Singular?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, January 8, 2017
Historically, former presidents have made it a point to get the heck out of Dodge once there’s a new sheriff in town.
Analysis and Commentary

What Will Feinstein, Harris Do On Judicial Nominees?

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Once he’s done choosing a would-be “apprentice” from the flotsam of B- and D-list celebrities NBC has steered his way, Arnold Schwarzenegger should invite some California politicians into his boardroom.

Analysis and Commentary

This Generation’s Challenge Is To Turn The Tide On Disease And Illness

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Saturday, December 24, 2016

Last year at this time, I wrote about subtraction – my family’s first Christmas without our father. This year, it’s all about addition – my grandnephew, William Lawton Eaves, who took his first breath 20 weeks to the day before Christmas Eve.

Introduction

The Year of Living Dangerously: 2017

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Monday, December 19, 2016

The calendar year is about to end. What have we learned about California? In political terms the rich got richer and the poor a whole lot poorer. Fiscally 2016 was a win for the status quo. Governor Jerry Brown signed a $167 billion budget that didn’t contain a dime in so-called blue-pencil reductions to individual spending items. 

Analysis and Commentary

In Trump Derangement Syndrome, We Have Three Presidents All Rolled Into One

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A group calling itself “Defend Democracy” descended on California’s State Capitol yesterday, demanding that the Electoral College deep-six Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th President when it casts its 538 votes next Monday.

Analysis and Commentary

The Two Parties Face An Age-Old (And Age-Young) Question Moving Forward

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, December 10, 2016

After Hillary Clinton dropped in on the nation’s capital the other day to say a few kind words on behalf of Harry Reid, the exiting Senate Minority Leader, two things stood out.

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