Bill Whalen

Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism
Biography: 

Bill Whalen, the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter 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 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

White House Setting an Unhealthy Example?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Sunday, March 7, 2010

On Wednesday, at a White House media event, President Obama surrounded himself with white-jacketed health professionals to underscore his push for health care reform. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

5 Debate Questions

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Friday, March 5, 2010

The three Republicans looking to unseat Barbara Boxer — Tom Campbell, Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina — square off for an hour-long debate this afternoon in Sacramento, starting at noon, on radio’s “Capitol Hour” show hosted by Eric Hogue. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Boxer’s Greatest Hits — Less One?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Thursday, March 4, 2010

While the nation’s capital waited breathlessly yesterday for the coming showdown on Obamacare and budget reconciliation, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was telling reporters what seemed inevitable in this off-the-rails Congress: cap-and-trade legislation is dead for the time being. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

CA Senate Primary: the Mickey Kaus Club

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Wednesday, March 3, 2010

While Jerry Brown drew the lion’s share of attention yesterday when he formally threw his hat in the ring (click here to see said announcement), California’s Democratic Senate primary also grew by one. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Conflicted California Voter?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An oft-used cliché in California political circles is “the conflicted voter” — that is, the “prototypical” Californian who wants lower taxes, more government services, tougher crime laws, and a kinder-gentler society. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

A Nation-State of Sun (Tzu) Worshipers?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Monday, March 1, 2010

Interesting little item in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle about California Attorney General Jerry Brown referring to the ancient Chinese general/strategist Sun Tzu as his political north star. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

CA’s State Employees and Vacation Pay-Out$: Good Work if You Can Get It

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Monday, March 1, 2010

The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, but in California playing fast and loose with wage and salary rules makes for a pretty nifty retirement for state employees. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Pelosi’s Stark Contrast

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Monday, March 1, 2010

The buzzards are circling over embattled House Ways & Means Chairman Charles Rangel. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Whitman, Poizner, the Chicken and the Egg

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Friday, February 26, 2010

It was a slow news day here in Northern California — rain, rain, and even more rain — until Team Whitman dropped this bomb on Team Poizner: Can’t Trust Steve. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Should Sacramento Try a Budget Summit?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Thursday, February 25, 2010

Have been watching the Washington health care summit . . . .

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