Bill Whalen

Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Distinguished Policy Fellow in Journalism
Biography: 

Bill Whalen, the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Distinguished Policy 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

Matters of Policy & Politics
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Matters Of Policy & Politics: Curb Your Enthusiasm

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, August 13, 2021

How California Gov. Gavin Newsom might try to rouse the Democratic faithful.

Interviews

Bill Whalen: Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom And Ron DeSantis: Three Governors In The Spotlight

interview with Bill Whalenvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, August 13, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses three governors in the spotlight: Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, and Ron DeSantis

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Why Did Democrats Sleep On Recall Reform?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 12, 2021

If history were to repeat itself next month and Gavin Newsom to become the second Democratic governor recalled by California voters this century, look for the Golden State’s political spin cycle to kick into overdrive.

Economics Abstract
Featured

Alabama’s Assets Can Help Position State Well For Innovation Economy

featuring Stephen Haber, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Whalen, Hoover Institutionvia Alabama Newscenter
Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Stephen Haber was hiking the trails of DeSoto State Park in northeast Alabama and got himself good and lost. He continued to wander, fully unprepared for what he was about to encounter.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, August 6, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his California on Your Mind article "And Should A Republican Win The Recall . . . ?"

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Delta (Variant) For Dummies

interview with Jay Bhattacharya, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, August 6, 2021

Separating fact from fiction related to the COVID “Delta” variant with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. 

PoliticsFeatured

And Should A Republican Win The Recall . . . ?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Now that the candidates have had their collective say in last night’s televised debate, it seems like a good time to ask: What if one of these hopefuls—or someone else who’s on the ballot but didn’t bother to take part in last night’s festivities at the Nixon Library—actually manages to take office as California’s 41st governor?

Featured

In Gubernatorial Debate, Will California Republicans Self-Destruct?

by Bill Whalenvia The Washington Post
Monday, August 2, 2021

If you’re keeping an eye on California’s gubernatorial recall election, now seven weeks away, then the Aug. 4 candidates’ debate might bring to mind an earlier confrontation.

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: A Recall Horse Race?

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, July 30, 2021

The upcoming recall debate and the role of special-interest money in the special election in California.

California flag
PoliticsFeatured

A Recall Debate—And Memories Of Nixon And Arnold

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Years and years ago, a California state legislator named Joe Simitian had a refreshing approach to how the government in Sacramento could better serve its constituents: an annual “There Ought to Be a Law” contest that encouraged citizens to submit ideas for new statutes or for taking existing ones off the books.

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