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

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

What May And May Not Be In California, Now That The Calendar’s Turned To May

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, May 2, 2019

As far as California state government is concerned, think of the next couple of the weeks in the Sacramento as the quiet before the storm—that disturbance coming when Governor Gavin Newsom announces the “May revise” to his January budget proposal, based on April’s revenue flow.

Analysis and Commentary

Pod Help Us All: The Downloadable Clintons

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Believe it or not, there was other political news this week that didn’t involve rocks thrown in Caracas – or in Bill Barr’s direction.

IntroductionEurekaAnalysis and Commentary

The Road (And Rail And Reservoirs) Ahead: Can California Be Innovative—And Sensible?

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A quick look around the nation shows states making clever, necessary transportation improvements—even if the progress doesn’t occur overnight.

Analysis and Commentary

Twenty-Plus Democrats Running For President, Or Joe Biden Running Against . . . Joe Biden?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Friday, April 26, 2019

One wise thing about Joe Biden waiting until late in the week to announce his presidential plans: he gets to dominate the political discourse over the weekend, as he has the past couple of days since he dropped his video.

EnvironmentAnalysis and Commentary

Earth (Day) To Governor Newsom: Why Didn’t You Ban Fracking?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Some Californians give Earth Day a symbolic nod—picking up litter on a beach, riding a bicycle to work to spare the air.

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Newsom Laces Up His Shoes

by Bill Whalenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

California’s new governor is chasing a national profile. By taking the lead on immigration, he could earn attention and praise—or fail miserably.

Interviews

Bill Whalen: Will Bernie Sanders Shop At Sam's Club, Attend A Megachurch And Drive An SUV?

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his Forbes article "Now That Bernie Has Discovered Fox News, Will He Further Explore Red-State America?"

Analysis and Commentary

Counting Bernie Sanders Out In 2020 May Be History Repeating Itself

by Bill Whalenvia The Sacramento Bee
Friday, April 19, 2019
Thanks to Lake Tahoe’s fourth snowiest winter on record, California ski resorts have extended their seasons. At the risk of getting out over our skis, let’s speculate about life with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Democrats’ presidential nominee.
Analysis and Commentary

Now That Bernie Has Discovered Fox News, Will He Further Explore Red-State America?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Thursday, April 18, 2019
In news non-hysterical and non-related to the rollout of the Mueller Report, we’ve learned Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has agreed to a May 8 town hall in Milwaukee to be aired live by the Fox News Channel.
The StateAnalysis and Commentary

When It Comes To Playing “the California Game,” Kevin Durant May Have Dethroned “King James”

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, April 18, 2019

If you’re a fan of the National Basketball Association, you’re probably aware of two California trends.

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