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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Interviews

Bill Whalen On "The Next Democratic Debate: Just One Debate, On One Stage, On One Night, With Only Ten Candidates Present"

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "The Next Democratic Debate: 10 In, 10 Out...Five More Who Should Go."

Analysis and Commentary

Trump Isn’t Bush-League And 2020 Isn’t The Second Coming Of 1992 – For Now, At Least

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Whenever a column is written about one-term presidencies, I take it personally. Why?

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Misses Almost 45% Of Votes And Still Earns A Full Salary: Why Would Kamala Harris Ever Want To Leave The Senate?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 29, 2019

We know that California senator Kamala Harris, as a Democratic presidential contender, is no stranger to the backroads of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Featured

The Next Democratic Debate: 10 In, 10 Out . . . Five More Who Should Go

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, August 29, 2019

An ideal format it’s not, but next month’s Democratic presidential debate will have at least one improvement over the previous two instalments: just one debate, on one stage, on one night, with only ten candidates present.

Analysis and Commentary

Go West, Mr. President, For Your Next Vacation – Where The Rivers Run . . . But Twitter Doesn’t

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

President Trump took a vacation earlier this month. Not that you would’ve noticed.

Analysis and Commentary

Bump Trump, Keep The Veep? Welcome To The August Rumor Mill

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Friday, August 23, 2019

In a week in which President Trump sent mixed messages on tax cuts, Joe Biden struggled with events of 50 years ago (note to his handlers: don’t let him near the fact-challenged Tarantino movie) and China escalated trade tensions, here are three summer plot lines that intrigue – and ultimately may fizzle.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

For Pete’s Sake: Tough Times In California Will Call For A Tougher Governor

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 22, 2019

This column begins with birthday felicitations for my former boss, Pete Wilson, who turns 86 later this week.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On "Some Republicans Want To Challenge Trump In 2020"

interview with Bill Whalenvia KCBS Radio
Thursday, August 22, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses the presidential race and the attacks on President Trump.

IntroductionEurekaAnalysis and Commentary

More Money, But More Or Fewer Problems? The State Of The Golden State’s Public Schools

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

By this month’s end, an annual California migration will have occurred—a mass movement that, in sheer numbers, puts the swallows of San Juan Capistrano to shame.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his California On Your Mind article "California’s “Motor Voter” System: Unsafe At Any Speed."

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