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

Analysis and Commentary

A Different Washington -- And Media -- Say Goodbye To 41

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

George H.W. Bush’s final visit to the nation’s capital was a stark reminder of how the times have changed in the 25 years since the 41st president left town (an 1889 “Handbook of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonies at Washington describes the presidential exodus thus: “His departure from the Capital is attended with no ceremony, other than the presence of the members of his late Cabinet and a few officials and personal friends. The President leaves the Capital as soon as practicable after the inauguration of his successor.”)

Featured

To Adapt, California GOP Needs To Move Beyond Reagan

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Thursday, November 29, 2018

One of the more curious post-election commentaries came last week from the opinion page of the Orange County Register and the supposition, by a Republican consultant, that John Cox’s gubernatorial campaign deserves praise, not burial.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Looking Over The Horizon: Could Newsom Ever Face A Veto Override?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, November 29, 2018

It’s been a week since Thanksgiving, yet somewhere in California, Governor-elect Gavin Newsom may still be voicing gratitude for his good fortune election-wise.

Analysis and Commentary

Kasich 2020: A Divine Notion?

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Bible informs us that John the Baptist preached about the coming kingdom and the need to repent.

Analysis and Commentary

Is Gavin Newsom On A Fast Track To A 2020 Bid?

by Bill Whalenvia Real Clear Politics
Friday, November 23, 2018

In news from last week not related to White House intrigue or California wildfires: Richard Ojeda is running for president. In case you missed it, Ojeda is a West Virginia Democrat and 2018 congressional candidate best known for a military-issue buzz cut (he is a former U.S. Army paratrooper) and the media sobriquet “JFK with tattoos and a bench press.”

Analysis and Commentary

In The House That Nancy Built, Pelosi's Not The Only Choice

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Sunday, November 18, 2018

One of my favorite columns from the past week was penned by a former Maryland congresswoman who would have us believe that “there’s only one choice to be the next Speaker”: Nancy Pelosi. The truth is: there’s more than one choice.

Analysis and Commentary

Take Heed, Gov.-Elect Newsom: Simple Speeches Are Best

by Bill Whalenvia Sacramento Bee
Friday, November 16, 2018

I’m a creature of routines, which means I begin my weekdays by opening Politico’s “California Playbook” – often to stumble across these words: “Where’s Jerry? Nothing official announced.” This is not a knock against Gov. Brown and certainly not to suggest that he’s started his political retirement early.

PoliticsAnalysis and Commentary

Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics—And California’s “Red Ceiling”

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, November 15, 2018

For all the talk of a “blue wave” and a “red wall” colliding in this election, let’s talk about the “red ceiling” in the nation’s biggest (and pretty much bluest) state.

Analysis and Commentary

One Way To View The Midterm Results: A Market Correction

by Bill Whalenvia Forbes
Friday, November 9, 2018

Political junkies weren’t the only ones who had a busy week. Consider what America’s investor class experienced. On Monday, not quite knowing what the following day would bring, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 200 points – a nice change from a volatile October.

PoliticsFeatured

California’s 2018 Vote: Limited Drama, Plenty of Uncounted Votes, And Lots of Needed Repairs

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Friday, November 9, 2018

Not that California elections are predictable, but most every cycle over the past twenty years has played out as follows.

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