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

Will Newsom’s Cabinet Reflect All Of California?

by Bill Whalenvia The Sacramento Bee
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Seven days into the new year, I’m looking at the same quandary facing many a weekday commuter in congested Northern California: how to juggle same-day events in Sacramento and Silicon Valley. On Jan. 7, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will take his oath of office. A few hours later, college football’s playoff championship will get underway at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara – on an impossibly good day, a two-hour drive.

Visas
The StateFeatured

Will Newsom Choose To Be A Nuisance, A No-Show, Or A National Leader On Immigration?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, December 13, 2018

What does a California governor-elect do in the time between Election Day and the inauguration?

During the Reagan administration, Clark was one of the president's most trusted advisers on foreign affairs (William Patrick Clark papers, box 170)
Featured

George Bush Was George Bailey: It Was A Wonderful Life

by Bill Whalenvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, December 7, 2018
As the nation says farewell to George Herbert Walker Bush, a few thoughts on the legacy and impact of America’s 41st president.
PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

The Latest California Fashion Craze: Tinfoil Hats

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, December 6, 2018

There’s something about close elections and unexpected results that breeds conspiracy theories.

Analysis and Commentary

A Different Washington -- And Media -- Say Goodbye To 41

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

George H.W. Bush’s final visit to the nation’s capital was a stark reminder of how the times have changed in the 25 years since the 41st president left town (an 1889 “Handbook of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonies at Washington describes the presidential exodus thus: “His departure from the Capital is attended with no ceremony, other than the presence of the members of his late Cabinet and a few officials and personal friends. The President leaves the Capital as soon as practicable after the inauguration of his successor.”)

Featured

To Adapt, California GOP Needs To Move Beyond Reagan

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, November 29, 2018

One of the more curious post-election commentaries came last week from the opinion page of the Orange County Register and the supposition, by a Republican consultant, that John Cox’s gubernatorial campaign deserves praise, not burial.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Looking Over The Horizon: Could Newsom Ever Face A Veto Override?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, November 29, 2018

It’s been a week since Thanksgiving, yet somewhere in California, Governor-elect Gavin Newsom may still be voicing gratitude for his good fortune election-wise.

Analysis and Commentary

Kasich 2020: A Divine Notion?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Bible informs us that John the Baptist preached about the coming kingdom and the need to repent.

Analysis and Commentary

Is Gavin Newsom On A Fast Track To A 2020 Bid?

by Bill Whalenvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, November 23, 2018

In news from last week not related to White House intrigue or California wildfires: Richard Ojeda is running for president. In case you missed it, Ojeda is a West Virginia Democrat and 2018 congressional candidate best known for a military-issue buzz cut (he is a former U.S. Army paratrooper) and the media sobriquet “JFK with tattoos and a bench press.”

Analysis and Commentary

In The House That Nancy Built, Pelosi's Not The Only Choice

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, November 18, 2018

One of my favorite columns from the past week was penned by a former Maryland congresswoman who would have us believe that “there’s only one choice to be the next Speaker”: Nancy Pelosi. The truth is: there’s more than one choice.

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