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

Does Bernie Sanders Really Want To Win? Three Democratic Debate Takeaways

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, February 12, 2016

To understand what ails Hillary Clinton, let’s rewind past Iowa and New Hampshire – two years back, in fact, to a speech in New Orleans before the National Auto Dealers Association and these words: “The last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996. I remember it very well. Unfortunately, so does the Secret Service, which is why I haven't driven since then.”

Analysis and Commentary

Sanders’ Young Legions Could Have Big Impact In California

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, February 11, 2016

As Californians, we have every right to look at the votes in Iowa and New Hampshire and shrug a collective “meh.” The first two presidential nominating contests sent not quite 880,000 of their citizens to the polls. There are three larger cities in America’s nation-state. Nor are they a national cross-section, which is a valid argument for shifting this winnowing of candidates to a more representative state – say, Florida.

US senator Marco Rubio
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Trump, Kasich, Cruz, Rubio, Bush: What NH Results Mean To The Still-Alive Five

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Add this to the list of election-year proverbs to dismiss: John Sununu’s snarky missive that “Iowa picks corn and New Hampshire picks presidents”.

Featured

Betting On The New Hampshire Primary

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, February 6, 2016

Should you have any gambling money left over from Super Bowl 50, here’s a way to scratch that wagering itch: New Hampshire primary “prop” bets.

Featured

Clinton Vs. Sanders: Hillary Shows Weakness But Bernie Is No Barack Obama

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, February 5, 2016

Imagine Hillary Clinton’s relief, come Wednesday morning, when she no longer has to grovel before New Hampshire’s famously prickly primary electorate.

Bill Whalen
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Bill Whalen: Bye-Bye Hawkeye Cauci: How Iowa’s Results Impact The 2016 Election

by Bill Whalenvia Hoover Institution
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses Iowa Caucus Night and that Iowa kept to form on the Republican side: the “one of us” candidate prevailed.

Analysis and Commentary

Donald Trump Stumbles, But Iowa Is A Bigger Problem For Hillary Clinton

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

About what transpired in Iowa on Monday night: Donald Trump’s campaign predicted a turnout of 170,000 attendees in the GOP caucuses. It might wind up north of 185,000.

Featured

Trump Fever Has Broken. Cruz Out-Organized Him. Here's What's Next

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Imagine trying to explain America’s presidential selection process to an extraterrestrial. The nation’s two major political parties entrust Iowa with beginning the elimination process – that one Midwestern state representing just 1 percent of the nation’s population, with an electorate not reflective of America writ large (Iowa’s population is whiter, more Protestant and decidedly less black and Hispanic than the rest of the country).

Analysis and Commentary

Preparing For The Iowa Caucus, By The Numbers

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, January 30, 2016

I’d like to tell you what’s going to occur in Iowa on Monday, just as I’d like to accurately forecast next week’s Super Bowl, or the Dow six months from now.

Analysis and Commentary

Will GOP Debate Sway Iowa Voters? Six Takeaways From Des Moines

by Bill Whalenvia Fox News
Friday, January 29, 2016
After seven Republican presidential debates over the past five months, including Thursday night’s turn in Des Moines, here’s what we can say with certainty about Monday’s vote in Iowa.

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