Bill Whalen, a Washington Post contributing columnist, is the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism at the Hoover Institution. He writes and comments on campaigns, elections and governance with an emphasis on California and America’s political landscapes. 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. Whalen is a native of Arlington, Va., and held his first job delivering newspapers for The Post as a teen.