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

Inside Looking Out vs. Outside Looking In

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign is out with a new ad (actually, it was released over the weekend) — an ad that provides a glimpse into how campaigns work in the sense of balancing critical reviews against long-term goals.

Analysis and Commentary

Death Penalty Still a Killer Issue?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today’s San Francisco Chronicle reports that 42 of California’s 58 county district attorneys are opposing President Obama’s nomination of Goodwin Liu to the federal appeals court in San Francisco. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

O Say Can UC Prison Healthcare?

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

Today’s topic: whether the UC system will take control of health care in California state prisons. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Lerach Is Back

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

From our California politics’ “Greatest Hits of the 90s” collection: securities plaintiffs attorney Bill Lerach is out of jail, and scheduled to speak at a University of San Diego Law panel on April 12. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Whitman and a Wealth of Wealth Coverage

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

California’s political media are abuzz today with accounts of Meg Whitman’s mega-spending – specifically, that the fabulously wealthy former eBay chair has spent $27 million over the past 11 weeks in her quest to be the next governor of the Golden State. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

California’s Economy: Last . . . Not Lease

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Monday, March 22, 2010

Back in the early 1990s, Gov. Pete Wilson had the perfect metaphor for the sagging California economy: folks were in such a hurry to get out of the Golden State that U-Haul couldn’t keep up with the demand for trailers. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

LA City Council: We’re No Angels

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Monday, March 22, 2010

Here’s one of those stories that makes you want to inquire as to the color of the sky in some politicians’ worlds. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

About Arnold’s Poll Numbers . . .

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Sunday, March 21, 2010

We’ll see if the world really does come to an end now that the House has voted on Obamacare (I’m being sarcastic; Republicans need to cool it with the ”Armageddon” talk — they were outmuscled in a party-line vote, plain and simple; they’ll have their revenge in November). . . .

Analysis and Commentary

What $32,500 Gets You in Los Angeles . . .

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Friday, March 19, 2010

Word out of the Southland is the presidential fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer will be held on April 19 at LA’s Natural History Museum. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Buying the Generic GOP Brand

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another sign of trouble ahead for Democrats: Republican candidates now have a 10-point lead in Rasmussen Reports’ Generic Congressional Ballot, the GOP’s biggest edge in three years of weekly tracking. . . .

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