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

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Your Wallet Or Your Life?

featuring John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

As the nation’s states start loosening shelter-in-place restrictions developed in response to the coronavirus, governments weigh sometimes conflicting advice from the scientific and business communities. Hoover senior fellows John Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, and H. R. McMaster debate the right balance to strike in restarting a battered economy, COVID-19’s effect on America’s military readiness, and a scenario in which a second pandemic wave strikes shortly before the fall election.

Analysis and CommentaryPolitics

On Your Mark (Cuban), Get Set, Go . . . Third Party?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, April 26, 2020

Just when you thought we’d never return to a world sprinkled with professional sports, reality television and billionaires whose words don’t always match their choices, Mark Cuban has come to the rescue.

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Is The Script For California’s Economic Recovery Already Written?

by Bill Whalen mentioning Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, April 23, 2020

In case you’ve wondered what a bad week looks like for a California governor, it goes something like this.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "Pandemics And Polls – And Trump Back To Square One."

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GoodFellows: Cold War 2

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Is a new “cold war” between America and China this generation’s defining economic and geostrategic engagement?

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Cold War 2

featuring John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

If the US-Soviet standoff defined the second half of the 20th century, is a new “cold war” between America and China this generation’s defining economic and geostrategic engagement? Hoover senior fellows John Cochrane, Niall Ferguson and H. R. McMaster debate whether a new cold war indeed is under way and what defines the competition. (Spoiler alert: the three “GoodFellows” are not in agreement.)

Analysis and CommentaryBlank Section (Placeholder)Politics

Pandemics And Polls – And Trump Back To Square One

by Bill Whalen cited David Bradyvia Forbes
Saturday, April 18, 2020

Fame may be fleeting – and so too, it would seem, the expected “Trump Bump” as the nation deals with the COVID pandemic.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Hoover Institution  fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "Is Biden Hardly — Or Trying Hard To Be — The New Harding?"

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GoodFellows: A Return to Normalcy?

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Hoover Podcasts
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

AUDIO ONLY

The question on everyone’s mind: when will society revert to its pre-coronavirus existence, and is such a restoration remotely possible?
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A Return To Normalcy?

featuring John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The question on everyone’s mind: when will society revert to its pre-coronavirus existence, and is such a restoration remotely possible? Hoover senior fellows John Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, and H. R. McMaster reflect on the various factors—economic policies, governments restoring civil liberties, nations working in tandem, the search for a COVID-19 vaccine—that will lead to the “new normal.”

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