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

PoliticsFeatured

California’s “Motor Voter” System: Unsafe At Any Speed

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 15, 2019

After a drubbing of the first order in the 2018 midterm election—congressional Democratic candidates winning all seven House races in Orange County, a one-time conservative bastion that’s synonymous with Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and John Wayne—California Republicans cried foul.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "Does Candidate Biden Have What It Takes To Fill The Bill (Clinton?)."

Featured

In A World Where Hillary’s In Charge, Does Hate Still Trump Governance?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

With the news cycle on fire – protests in Hong Kong, mass shootings in America, a dead Manhattan billionaire whose suicide is the stuff of conspiratorial fantasies – the temptation is to wonder how our political daily discourse might differ had the 2016 election turned out otherwise.

PoliticsFeatured

In The Limbo Dance That Is Trump-Newsom Animosity, A New California Law Shows How Low You Can Go

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Donald Trump received only 31.6% of California’s vote in the 2016 presidential election.

That Trump failed to carry the Golden State barely qualifies as news.

Analysis and Commentary

The Democrats Have An Aaron Sorkin Candidate, So Why Isn’t He Soaring Higher In the Polls?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Go down the long list of Democratic presidential candidates – past the senators, congressmen and even the self-help author – and two names are missing: Presidents Josiah Bartlet and Andrew Shepherd.

Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses Joe Biden's bid for the presidency.

Democrat's Donkey
Interviews

Bill Whalen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses the Democrat's debates and who will be invited to the next debates.

Analysis and Commentary

Biden’s Challenge: Does (Presidential) Life Begin At 77?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, August 4, 2019

If you want to go dizzy, do an Internet deep-dive on the phrase: “age is just a number.”

BusinessAnalysis and Commentary

The State Government In Sacramento: Where California Sports Teams Have A Home-Field Advantage

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, August 1, 2019

I’ve always respected Steve Ballmer.

Not only does he have a head for business (he went from making $50,000 a year as an assistant at Microsoft to becoming one of the richest people in America), but his heart goes out to the less fortunate (his Ballmer Group philanthropy aims to help impoverished children and families escape poverty).

Featured

Does Candidate Biden Have What It Takes To Fill The Bill (Clinton?)

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, August 1, 2019

For all the post-debate discussion of Barack Obama’s place in the 2020 Democratic presidential field – is it still fashionable to revere Obamacare; is there a contender other than Joe Biden willing to embrace Donald Trump’s predecessor? – there is this question: where’s Bill Clinton amidst his party’s conversation about tactics and ideological necessity?

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