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

Why Isn’t John Cox Spotlighting The Differences Between Jerry Brown And Gavin Newsom?

by Bill Whalenvia The Sacramento Bee
Thursday, October 18, 2018
To figure out what’s missing in California’s governor’s race, let’s revisit Princess Diana’s famous lament about the decay of her royal union: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Featured

Three Considerations, With Less Than Three Weeks Until Election Day

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, October 18, 2018

We’re now within three weeks of Election Day. Here are three plot lines to ponder as we head closer to the first referendum on the Trump Era.

PoliticsFeatured

In California’s Central Valley, A Supersize Fight For A Senate Supermajority

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 18, 2018

To get a sense of California zeitgeist in this election, hop in a car (for now, forget about high-speed rail) and start driving due east from San Jose—away from Silicon Valley, into the Central Valley and California’s 12th State Senate District.

IntroductionEurekaAnalysis and Commentary

California’s 2018 Election: Tax Repeal—Maybe; Political Reform—Not This Year?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Spoiler alert: there’s not much drama at the top of the California ballot this year.

Featured

Four Considerations, With Less Than Four Weeks Until Election Day

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, October 11, 2018

We’re now within four weeks of Election Day. Here are four plot lines to ponder as we head closer to the first referendum on the Trump Era.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Goodbye, Columbus? No. But Goodbye To California Debates

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 11, 2018

The map tells us that California’s lowest point is Death Valley’s Badwater Basin, some 282 feet below sea level.

Analysis and Commentary

Three Cheers For Rob Portman!

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Monday, October 8, 2018

If you listened carefully to Monday’s swearing-in ceremony at the White House for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, one name was mentioned briefly by President Trump that bears repeating. Rob Portman.

Analysis and Commentary

Five Considerations, With Less Than Five Weeks Until Election Day

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, October 4, 2018
We’re now within five weeks of Election Day. Here are five plot lines to ponder as we near the first referendum on the Trump Era.
FeaturedEconomy

Gas Tax Repeal Proves Why California Needs This Election Reform

by Bill Whalenvia The Sacramento Bee
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Imagine my surprise when, while reading California’s official voter information guide, I discovered that Proposition 6, which seeks to repeal last year’s gasoline tax increase, doesn’t run on petrol.

EnvironmentAnalysis and Commentary

Thanks To California’s “Earthquake Drought,” The Next Governor Will Be On Shaky Ground

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, October 4, 2018

To appreciate what awaits the man who’ll replace Jerry Brown, take a time-out from politics and watch the movie Match Point.

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