Bill Whalen

Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Distinguished Policy Fellow in Journalism
Biography: 

Bill Whalen, the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Distinguished Policy Fellow in Journalism and 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 writes on politics and current events for Forbes.com. His commentary can also be seen on the opinion pages of the The Washington Post and Real Clear Politics, as well as Hoover’s “California On Your Mind” web channel.

Whalen hosts Hoover’s “Area 45” podcast on politics and policy in the age of the Trump presidency and he serves as one of the moderators of Hoover’s “GoodFellows” broadcast on the social, economic and geopolitical consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

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 and Lars Larson.

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.

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

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Naval Gazing

interview with Admiral Gary Roughead, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Tuesday, July 20, 2021

America’s ability to project strength and respond to crises across the Pacific Rim.

PoliticsFeatured

As The Recall Field Takes Shape, Will Hollywood Avoid Sacramento?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, July 15, 2021

Writing this column as I am, on the eve of the filing deadline for California’s September 14 recall election—candidates have until 5 pm PDT this Friday to submit their paperwork with the secretary of state’s office in Sacramento—we could be in for one or several plot twists.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Garbage Time In California?

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, July 9, 2021

The latest in the Golden State, including the gubernatorial challengers’ struggles in earning media attention.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Did Biden Really Max Out On Waters?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, July 8, 2021

One thing about 2021 that we were told to expect: the beginning of an age of new harmony between the West and East Coasts—more to the point, the government in Washington showing more love to its smaller cousin in Sacramento.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Entitled To What?

interview with Daniel Heil, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The ramifications should an additional 21 million Americans – and more than half the nation’s working-age households – become dependent upon the federal government. 

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Philadelphia Freedom

interview with H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, July 1, 2021

Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster revisits his introduction to Independence Day as a Philadelphia native.

Politics

Good Luck Keeping Up with Recall’s Cash King

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, July 1, 2021

For reasons either justifiable (my job necessitates keeping track of what politicians are up to) or masochistic (the urge to be a glutton for punishment), I make it a habit to sign up for officeholders’ and candidates’ email solicitations.

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Good Fellows: That '70s Show

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Fellow Talks
Tuesday, June 29, 2021

AUDIO ONLY

To the adage of repeating the past, does a stretch of inflation at home, the end of prolonged military involvement in a faraway land, and a president lamenting a nation in crisis suggest a return to the America of the 1970s? Hoover Institution senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane discuss the differences between then and now—after sharing photos showcasing their ’70s finery.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: The Post-Heart Attack Governor

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Monday, June 28, 2021

Should he survive a recall election later this year, would California Governor Gavin Newsom preside more cautiously, having survived the political near-death experience, or push even harder to the left?

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Party Like It’s 2010?

interview with David Brady, Douglas Rivers, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Where do Republicans and Democrats depart on COVID vaccines and immigration, plus whether a 2022 midterm election could resemble 2010’s referendum on the Obama presidency.

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