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

California’s Top Donor? Bada-Bing!

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

California’s Fair Political Practices just came out with a list of the state’s top-ten political donors. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Whitman vs. Unions: Missiles Away?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This morning’s Matier & Ross column in the San Francisco Chronicle has the interesting little tidbit: an upcoming $20 million independent expenditure meant to put a serious dent in Meg Whitman’s gubernatorial campaign. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

California and the IMF: Perfect Together?

by Bill Whalenvia Bill Whalen: Politi-Cal
Monday, February 8, 2010

If California’s financial mess is Greek to you, then maybe it’s time you took a look at the troubles plaguing Greece — to see the parallel between the Mediterranean nation and the American nation-state. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Oh What a Feeling

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

Yesterday, the state’s Assembly Rules Committee passed a measure banning the chamber from purchasing vehicles for its fleet if less than half of said auto is manufactured and assembled in the U.S. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Super Bowl, Super President?

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

Armchair quarterbacks and second-guessers are having a field day with President Obama’s troubles. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Maldondo Confirmation: Abel Was I Ere I Saw . . . State Politics

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

If, as once suggested by John Nance Garner that the vice presidency of the United States isn’t worth “a bucket of warm spit” (“spit” being a PG-13 version of a different bodily function Garner had in mind), then what can we say about the lieutenant governor of California? . . .

Analysis and Commentary

In Search of Grist for Obama's Mill

by Bill Whalenvia Weekly Standard
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will his fight against the BCS play well with the American people? . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Obama Needs a Foil

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

Subject One: the Justice Department’s interest in the college Bowl Championship Series, and why ultimately it might not be good politics for President Obama (the main reason: Florida and Ohio universities have benefitted the most under the BCS system — oh by the way, those are two states Obama cannot afford to lose in 2012). . . .

Analysis and Commentary

The Groundhog Sez: Six More Weeks of Winter . . . and a Republican Congress?

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

Since it’s an election year, you know that someone with too vivid of an imagination (and too much time on his hands) is going to connect Groundhog Day to the fall vote. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

CA Gov’s Race: All’s Not Quiet on the Western Front . . . and Other 1914 Analogies

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

I recalled Mrs. C after reporters started calling me this afternoon with regard to the latest flare-up between the Whitman and Poizner gubernatorial campaigns — namely, an email sent last week by Whitman consultant Mike Murphy to an unnamed Poizner aide suggesting that Poizner reconsider his run. . . .

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