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

EnvironmentAnalysis and Commentary

California Can’t Avoid The Next “Big One” Can It Weather The Political Aftershock?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, July 11, 2019

That California would find itself dealing with two large earthquakes over the Fourth of July weekend shouldn’t come as a surprise, as temblors have no consideration for human needs. The last giant quake to disrupt Los Angeles? It happened twenty-five years ago, at 4:31 a.m. on a Monday morning in January, leaving millions of sleep-deprived Angelenos to stumble around in the predawn dark.

Featured

Steyer Opts Into The Democratic Race; So Where Are The Third-Party Options?

featuring Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How fortuitous that the news of Ross Perot’s passing coincides with the launch of Tom Steyer’s presidential run. Perot, of course, was the Texas billionaire who shook up the 1992 election by running as an independent candidate (actually, he ran, dropped out, then dropped back into the race) – all the while amusing the media and infuriating a sitting Republican president and a Democratic governor who hoped to unseat him.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses the top Democrat's presidential candidates including the passion of Warren and Harris versus Biden and Sanders.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses Tom Steyer's announcement that he is joining the 2020 presidential race.

Analysis and Commentary

Bashing Trump On The Fourth Of July: A Tank-Less Chore

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Friday, July 5, 2019

With all due respect to Bob Hope, “tanks” for the memories, America’s outrage class, for Fourth of July dramatics that never should have been.

The StateFeatured

Let Freedom Ring—Though It Doesn’t Fully Flourish In California

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

California’s brightest minds obviously didn’t have a seat at the table in the early days of July 1776, when the Founding Fathers (how long before that term’s deemed politically incorrect?) were putting the final touches on that generation’s “Brexit.”

One wonders what the Founders would make of today’s Golden State, which didn’t join the union until seventy-four years and two months after those fateful moments in Philadelphia. 

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "A Suggestion For The Next Time He Debates: Let Biden Be Biden – Whatever That Means."

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his California on Your Mind article "A Newsom Recall? Let’s First Recall How It Happened To Gray Davis."

Analysis and Commentary

A Suggestion For The Next Time He Debates: Let Biden Be Biden – Whatever That Means

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Saturday, June 29, 2019

I was going to write a column in the immediate aftermath of this week’s Democratic presidential debates, but decided that discretion – and delay – was the better part of valor.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

A Newsom Recall? Let’s First Recall How It Happened To Gray Davis

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 27, 2019

For a guy whose plate of weighty concerns (unfunded pension liabilities, an inability to get housing legislation passed, and a slowing state job engine) evokes the image of John Belushi’s top-heavy lunch tray in Animal House, California governor Gavin Newsom is feeling pretty cocky these days.

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