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

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses why the Washington Post decided to attack Joe Biden the day before the first debate. Is Biden, Hillary Clinton 2.0?

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses the democratic candidates and their debate/campaign issues.

Analysis and Commentary

These Democratic Presidential Debates Have An NBA Problem

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Monday, June 24, 2019

If you plan to tune in to the upcoming Democratic presidential debates later this week (who said there’s nothing on tv at this time of the year other than bad reality shows?), here’s what to expect.

Analysis and Commentary

Leader Hosing: Is Bashing Mitch Pelosi’s Best Fundraising Pitch?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, June 20, 2019

One way to gauge how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi feels about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: check the Speaker’s e-mail traffic.

The StateAnalysis and Commentary

Twenty-Five Years After O.J.’s Car Chase, The Wheels Keep Turning In California

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Among the dates that stand out on the California calendar: 9/11, the day that America was struck by its deadliest act of terrorism (the California connection: all four commercial airliners were originally headed to Los Angeles or San Francisco); and 4/20, the worldwide celebration of marijuana smoking (the California connection: the ritual may or may not have begun at a Northern California high school).

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "Where Were You, Four Years Ago? Like Me, Probably Discounting Trump."

Analysis and Commentary

Where Were You, Four Years Ago? Like Me, Probably Discounting Trump

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, June 16, 2019

It wasn’t twenty years ago today, as the Beatles once sang – only four, to be exact (though at times, it feels like two decades).

PoliticsFeatured

Why A Tax Vote Last Week In Los Angeles Is A Preview Of 2020’s Coming Attractions

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Baseball has spring training, Broadway its tech rehearsals, and software engineers their beta tests.

Analysis and Commentary

Is Biden The Trump Of The Democratic Field? Elizabeth Warren's Wrath May Decide That

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, June 6, 2019

I was watching Fox News earlier today, when the conversation turned to the Democratic field (despite the appeals to keep politics out of a day devoted to sacrifice and bravery in Normandy, the 2020 election simply would not go away).

The StateAnalysis and Commentary

Sacramento’s Attitude Toward Santa Cruz: The Opposite Of “Fear And Loathing"

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, June 6, 2019

For some American cities, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—New York City, for example, wanting to to be in the same sentence as Paris and London as cultured, cosmopolitan hubs for world travel and commerce.

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