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 writes on politics and current events for Forbes.com. 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

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Defending The Free World

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

In his three-plus decades of service to his country, Hoover senior fellow and former national security advisor H. R. McMaster fought for freedom’s cause and defended America’s national security interests abroad. The author of  the newly released book Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World shares his world vision—rival powers’ mindsets and warnings of crises to come—with Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson and John Cochrane. 

Analysis and Commentary

Trump’s Supreme Quandary: Catholics Or Converts?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, September 20, 2020

Fans of college football might remember a game from almost 32 years ago, when a very potent and very cocky Miami Hurricanes team ventured to Notre Dame for a rematch of a one-sided affair (in Miami’s favor) from the previous season.

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GoodFellows: Ten Miles From Stonehenge

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Already plagued by a pandemic and a sickly economy, is California’s spate of wildfires and unhealthy air the tipping point for its disgruntled residents? Hoover Institution Senior Fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane and Victor Davis Hanson discuss whether California can be fixed, or if it's time for a full-fledged “CalExit” to elsewhere in America.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "Noble Efforts, But Trump Can Forget About A Nobel Peace Prize."

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Ten Miles From Stonehenge

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Already plagued by a pandemic and a sickly economy, is California’s spate of wildfires and unhealthy air the tipping point for its disgruntled residents? Hoover Institution Senior Fellows Niall Ferguson, John Cochrane and Victor Davis Hanson discuss whether California can be fixed, or if it's time for a full-fledged “CalExit” to elsewhere in America.

Featured

Noble Efforts, But Trump Can Forget About A Nobel Peace Prize

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, September 13, 2020

I can’t say with certainty how the American presidential election will turn out, but this much I’m willing to wager: you won’t see President Trump in Norway, come December of next year, collecting a Nobel Peace Prize.

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GoodFellows: But Seriously, Folks . . .

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Friday, September 11, 2020

AUDIO ONLY

With summer over and Americans (in theory, at least) returning to work, school, and familiar routines, what lies ahead for the remainder of 2020? Hoover Institution senior fellows Niall Ferguson. H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane examine what might ensue in the way of pandemic, economics, geopolitics, and a contentious presidential election.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

“Extraordinary” And California’s Legislature—In The Same Sentence?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

After a recently concluded bill-drafting session considered remarkable only in the remarkable job that lawmakers did in avoiding a host of weighty matters, what could California’s State Legislature do for an encore?

Analysis and CommentaryPolitics

In A Carnival-Like Spree, California Lawmakers Just Played Right Into Trump’s Hands

by Bill Whalenvia The Washington Post
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

By the time the clock struck midnight on Aug. 31 in Sacramento — the state legislature’s deadline for sending bills to the governor — Democratic supermajorities had indulged in a spree of progressive fantasy-weaving. 

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But Seriously, Folks . . .

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, September 9, 2020

With summer over and Americans (in theory, at least) returning to work, school, and familiar routines, what lies ahead for the remainder of 2020? Hoover Institution senior fellows Niall Ferguson. H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane examine what might ensue in the way of pandemic, economics, geopolitics, and a contentious presidential election.

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