Bill Whalen

Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism

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 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

Clothes make the aspiring politician

by Bill Whalenvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, February 4, 2007

Here's a thought, while we count down the 49 weeks until the Iowa caucuses: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is a "different kind of Democrat" because ... ?

Analysis and Commentary

A preview of Arnold's second act

by Bill Whalenvia Los Angeles Times
Sunday, January 14, 2007

There are two ways to view Arnold Schwarzenegger's skiing mishap: His fractured femur was a bad break, or it's the latest example of bad luck to befall a newly reelected California governor...

Analysis and Commentary

So Much for the Good Neighbor Policy

by Bill Whalenvia American Spectator
Thursday, November 2, 2006

According to New York City's Department of Finance, 159 of the Union Nations' 199 member-states owe their American host city some $18 million in unpaid parking fines....

Analysis and Commentary

Like sands through the hourglass ....

by Bill Whalenvia West Virginia Record
Wednesday, November 1, 2006

There are two daytime dramas unfolding in West Virginia this fall...

Analysis and Commentary

The Eraser

by Bill Whalenvia Weekly Standard
Friday, October 27, 2006

‘If a democratic tsunami emerges on Election Day, then it's reasonable to expect California to surf the wave…

Analysis and Commentary

Trial Lawyers Find Operating Room

by Bill Whalenvia American Spectator
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A small town of less than 2,000 households, Hurricane, West Virginia, is betting its future on its location amidst "Advantage Alley," a five-county partnership promoting economic development along the state's Interstate 64 corridor…

Analysis and Commentary


by Bill Whalenvia Weekly Standard
Monday, June 5, 2006

You can never be too rich or too thin, the saying goes, and it certainly holds true for California's June 6 primary…

Analysis and Commentary


by Bill Whalenvia San Jose Mercury News
Sunday, May 28, 2006

Forgive me for not being first in line to vote June 6…

Analysis and Commentary

Can Bush lighten up and smile a little bit? All work, no play make George dull

by Bill Whalenvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, May 7, 2006

f there's an unintended consequence of lousy poll numbers, as President Bush is fast discovering, it's that sagging fortunes beget plenty of unsolicited advice, in this instance, how to put President Humpty Dumpty back together…

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What Happened to Arnold?

by Bill Whalenvia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 30, 2006

Can Arnold Schwarzenegger recover from his special-election train wreck? What the Governator must do to get back on track. By Bill Whalen.