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

Featured Commentary

Housing Costs Should Be Back On State Lawmakers’ Agenda

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Since the Legislature is spending money about as fast as Silicon Valley can mint it, why not create a new state agency? Specifically, the Department of Recyclable Ideas Perpetually Shelved, or DRIPS. Consider what it could do for the thorny matter of tax reform. Rather than set up a time-consuming council of economic advisers to study the matter, as state Controller Betty Yee has done, DRIPS would simply dust off the 2009 plan crafted by the so-called Parsky Commission.

Blogs

2016: Do Looks Matter?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Over the course of the next year, you’re going to hear plenty of theories as to what guarantees victory in a president election. For example, there’s the matter of candidates’ height — the premise being that the taller contender always wins. A few years ago, researchers at Texas Tech took a look at this and decided there was something to it — something having to do with voters and their primordial instincts.

Featured Commentary

Hillary Clinton Finally Takes Some Questions From The Press

by Bill Whalenvia Daily Caller (DC)
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Why the sudden change in availability? Blame or credit it to the ordinary folks who wanted to know where the Democratic frontrunner stood on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. That, and a series of bad news stories Mrs. Clinton no longer could ignore: Benghazi; her State Department emails; longtime Clinton sycophant Sidney Blumenthal being called the former Secretary of State’s Libya whisperer.

Eureka
Featured Commentary

Eureka Issue 1502 California's Housing Conundrum

by Bill Whalen, Carson Bruno, Wendell Cox, Loren Kaye, Carol Galantevia Eureka
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The May-June 2015 issue of Eureka, a Hoover Institution publication focusing on policy, political, and economic issues confronting California, was released in conjunction with this Golden State Poll. This volume centers on California’s housing conundrum, examining home values in a historical context, causes of the affordability crisis, and possible solutions.  Hoover Institution research fellow Carson Bruno also provides an in-depth analysis of the Golden State Poll results in the same issue of Eureka.

IntroductionFeatured Commentary

Hot Market, Exorbitant Prices, And A Debate Over Policy Remedies

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Not that housing in California defies logic but consider this tale of a home that went on the market in San Francisco back in February 2015. Located in the city’s Outer Sunset District, the four-bedroom home was listed at $799,000 – a bargain by local standards (in April, the median asking price for a San Francisco property was a shade under $1.01 million).  Why the discount?

Podcast: The Eureka Podcast: “California’s Affordable Housing Crisis”
Blogs

Sweet Loretta?

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Sunday, May 17, 2015

You can’t blame Californians for being somewhat jaded, if not downright disinterested in statewide elections. Just look at the numbers. Jerry Brown won last year’s gubernatorial contest by 20 points without working up a sweat (or bothering to run ads). The average spread in the last five presidential years is 17 points, ranging from a 24-point Obama win in 2008 to a 10-point George W. Bush loss in 2004.

ohn Bolton served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the departments of State and Justice.
Blogs

Bolton’s Swan Song

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Friday, May 15, 2015

In something of a surprise (given that few Republicans have taken a pass), former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has declared that he won’t run for president, begging the question of which Michael Bolton song best describes a courtship that won’t be...

Blogs

Trump And No Trump Bidding

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Sunday, May 10, 2015

There was plenty to take away from this weekend’s Freedom Summit in Greenville, S.C., which featured nearly a dozen Republican presidential candidates (here’s a tick-tock of the day’s proceedings from a local publication).

bricks, red, wall
Blogs

2015 Governor’s Races And The Republican “Red Wall”

by Bill Whalenvia A Day At The Races
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Before we get to 2016, there’s some housekeeping to attend to. Specifically, three gubernatorial contests on tap for later this year. The states in play: Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. Will they offer any windows into the health of the two parties? Let’s take a quick look at each one.

oakland flag
Featured Commentary

Officials Can No Longer Ignore Oakland Riots

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Maybe it’s haughty dismissiveness – the view from California that racial unrest only besets lesser states. Yet it may also be that Angelenos don’t pay much attention to what goes on in Oakland.
 

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