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

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Nothing Funny Happening On The Way To The Forum

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

California’s governor is an elected official—as such, not to be confused with a monarch. But when facing a recall election and serving as the Golden State’s chief executive, it’s good to be the king, as it were.

Interviews

Bill Whalen: Battle Of The Bay: A's Vs Giants For Fans And Favors

interview with Bill Whalenvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, May 20, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Bill Whalen discusses his California on Your Mind article "An Oakland Riddle: What’s Green And Gold...And Short On Green?"

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: Populism

interview with Terry M. Moe, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

What it is to be a “populist” in this day and age – both in America and Europe. 

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GoodFellows: Gates’s Way to National Security

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, Robert Gates, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Fellow Talks
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

It’s a complicated world—one in which an ascendant China threatens American concerns, fighting has recommenced in the Middle East, and the US government may not be suitably prepared for future cyberattacks. Robert Gates, secretary of defense in both the Obama and Bush 43 presidential administrations, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane to discuss the state of world affairs, US cybersecurity, and America’s global vision (or lack thereof).

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Gates’s Way To National Security

interview with John H. Cochrane, Niall Ferguson, Robert Gates, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, May 19, 2021

It’s a complicated world—one in which an ascendant China threatens American concerns, fighting has recommenced in the Middle East, and the US government may not be suitably prepared for future cyberattacks. Robert Gates, secretary of defense in both the Obama and Bush 43 presidential administrations, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane to discuss the state of world affairs, US cybersecurity, and America’s global vision (or lack thereof).

oakland flag
The StateAnalysis and Commentary

An Oakland Riddle: What’s Green And Gold . . . And Short On Green?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Arguably the most famous thing ever said about Oakland, California’s eighth most populous city, comes from author and native daughter Gertrude Stein, who acidly observed: “there is no there there.”

Matters of Policy & Politics
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Matters Of Policy & Politics: “A Guy Called Lee"

interview with Lee Ohanian, Bill Whalenvia Matters of Policy & Politics
Friday, May 14, 2021

How Hoover Institution fellow Lee Ohanian made the international news for economic advice given to a candidate vying to replace Newsom in the recall election.

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Hoosier Daddy

interview with John H. Cochrane, Mitch Daniels, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

While many an American university has struggled with the pandemic and cancel culture, Indiana’s Purdue University seems the exception to the norm: a reopened campus with an ongoing commitment to civics literacy and intellectual diversity. Purdue’s president, former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane to discuss the state of higher education.

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GoodFellows: Hoosier Daddy

interview with John H. Cochrane, Mitch Daniels, Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, Bill Whalenvia Fellow Talks
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

While many an American university has struggled with the pandemic and cancel culture, Indiana’s Purdue University seems the exception to the norm: a reopened campus with an ongoing commitment to civics literacy and intellectual diversity. Purdue’s president, former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, joins Hoover senior fellows Niall Ferguson, H. R. McMaster, and John Cochrane to discuss the state of higher education.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Before The Recall, A California Spin Cycle

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It’s not officially campaign season in California—that’ll begin in full force once the date for the gubernatorial recall vote is officially set—but already it’s open season for odd political spin.

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