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 writes on politics and current events for 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

Analysis and Commentary

Leave No Child (or Wife) Behind?

by Bill Whalenvia Weekly Standard
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In the long voyage that is the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the media have adopted a new approach: women and children first...

Analysis and Commentary

Research Fellow Bill Whalen: GOP vs. the governor

by Bill Whalenvia Los Angeles Times
Sunday, August 5, 2007

Schwarzenegger has let down Republicans, so we're back to the familiar show of legislators feuding with a governor from their own party...

Analysis and Commentary

A 'Grammy' for sour notes

by Bill Whalenvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, July 22, 2007

In a better world, we'd get to hand out a presidential "Grammy..."


by Bill Whalenvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Californians should be feeling serene about a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal. With the dubious help of celebrities, they’re feeling alarmed instead. By Bill Whalen.

Analysis and Commentary

Who's Afraid of Liquified Natural Gas?

by Bill Whalenvia American Spectator
Friday, March 9, 2007

California's environmental community has a Dickensian feel to it these days...

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…