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

Analysis and Commentary

Is The President California-Obsessed?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, May 31, 2020

Some delayed reading led me to this story which appeared last week in the San Francisco Chronicle, under the headline: “Trump’s attack on Twitter is all about running against California.”

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Signs Of Intelligent Life In The California GOP’s Existence?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 28, 2020

When considering the present-day struggles of California Republicans keep in mid the Chinese adage “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (1,000 miles, by the way, a little further than the Golden State’s 840-mile coastline).

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Carnivorous Moose

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Europe’s pandemic recovery includes a divided European Union struggling for consensus on a COVID relief plan. Hoover Senior Fellows Niall Ferguson, H.R. McMaster and John Cochrane discuss the health of the 27-nation EU, whose population surveys as economically progressive, more trusting of authoritarian states and less America-leaning.

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If The NBA Can Thrive Under A “Bubble,” Why Not The Presidential Election?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Monday, May 25, 2020

Assuming it returns to action later this summer, the National Basketball Association might relocate its players, their care and housing and the league’s games to one location – a “bubble site” that better safeguards its stars against exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste —And A Governor Didn’t, As California Voters Will Discover This Fall

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 21, 2020

If you’re searching for an example of what ails California, look no further than the State Capitol—more to the point, the crumbling annex attached to the more historic structure where laws are decided.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses President Trump's poll numbers.

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International Man Of History

featuring John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Imagine the three “GoodFellows” in charge of America’s government—a modern (and democratic) twist on ancient Rome’s triumvirate. Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane discuss the coronavirus-related steps they’d take if entrusted with deciding the nation’s health, economic, and geostrategic choices.

Analysis and Commentary

Mr. Toad’s (And Mr. Trump’s) Wild Ride May End Up Where It Began

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, May 17, 2020

One of the keys to survival during these days and weeks (and maybe many more months) of government-imposed confinement: discerning a good use of one’s time.

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Keeping Californians Away From The Shore Is No Day At The Beach For Their Governor

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 14, 2020

To understand the California divide over how to cope with the COVID-19 threat—many a resident happy to hunker down for the duration, with others willing to defy law enforcement in order to return to a life more ordinary—it helps to know the saga of Melvin Carter.

InterviewsPolitics

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "As He Ponders Running Mates, Is There A Truman, A TR Or An LBJ In Joe Biden’s Future?"

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