Nicolle Wallace

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For the Law & Order: Criminal Intent character, see Nicole Wallace.
Nicolle Wallace
White House Director of Communications
In office
January 5, 2005 – July 24, 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Dan Bartlett
Succeeded by Kevin Sullivan
Personal details
Born Nicolle Devenish
(1972-02-04) February 4, 1972 (age 45)
Orange County, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mark Wallace
Children 1
Education University of California, Berkeley (BA)
Northwestern University (MA)
Website Official website

Nicolle Wallace (née Devenish; February 4, 1972)[1] is an American author, political commentator for NBC News, and chief political analyst for MSNBC. She served as communications chief during the presidency of George W. Bush and in his 2004 re-election campaign. In 2008, Wallace also served as a senior advisor for the McCain–Palin campaign. She was a co-host of The View talk show and is a frequent contributor and guest host on MSNBC programs The 11th Hour with Brian Williams and Morning Joe and a contributor on NBC's Today Show.

Political career[edit]

Briefly an on-air reporter in California, Wallace started her political career working in California state politics.[2]

In 1999, she moved to Florida to serve as Governor Jeb Bush's press secretary, and then became the Communications Director for the Florida State Technology Office in 2000.[3] Wallace worked on the 2000 Florida election recount.[4]

White House and Bush–Cheney '04[edit]

Wallace joined the White House staff during President George W. Bush's first term, serving as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Media Affairs at the White House, where she oversaw regional press strategy and outreach.[5]

In 2003, Wallace joined the Bush–Cheney '04 campaign as the Communications Director, where according to The New York Times, "she delivered her political attacks without snarling."[6]

On January 5, 2005, Bush named Wallace White House Communications Director.[5] The New York Times story announcing her presidential appointment carried the headline: "New Aide Aims to Defrost the Press Room," and described Wallace's intentions "to improve the contentious relationship between a secretive White House and the press."[6] According to The Washington Post, Wallace served as "a voice for more openness with reporters", and former colleagues describe Wallace as having been "very persuasive in the halls of the West Wing."[4]

Her White House colleague, presidential political advisor Mark McKinnon, called her a "rare talent in politics."[7]

McCain–Palin campaign[edit]

Wallace also served as a senior advisor for the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. She appeared frequently on network and cable news programs as the campaign's top spokesperson and defender.[8]

In late October 2008, campaign aides criticized vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. One unnamed McCain aide said Palin had "gone rogue," placing her own future political interests ahead of the McCain/Palin ticket, directly contradicting her running mate's positions, and disobeying directions from campaign managers.[9][10] In response to reports of dissension within the McCain-Palin campaign, Wallace issued a statement to both Politico and CNN saying: "If people want to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most honorable thing to do is to lie there."[11][9]

Wallace was portrayed by Sarah Paulson in the 2012 film Game Change.[12] Wallace described the film as highly credible, saying the film "captured the spirit and emotion of the campaign." Wallace also told ABC News Chief Political Correspondent George Stephanopoulos that the film was "true enough to make me squirm."[13]

Wallace has stated she did not vote for a presidential candidate in 2008 because Sarah Palin gave her pause.[14]

Other work[edit]

Wallace is a political commentator regularly featured on television news programs.[7] She is represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.[15]

In February 2013, Wallace publicly supported legal recognition for same-sex marriage in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court.[16]

White House novel series[edit]

She is the author of the 2010 novel Eighteen Acres (a reference to the 18 acres on which the White House complex sits),[17] a fictional narrative about three powerful women at the top of their careers—the first female U.S. President, her chief of staff and a White House correspondent. Wallace said, "It's my best attempt at a story that I hope people will pick up and read and enjoy and maybe feel like they're getting to see what it's really like in the White House in this entirely fictional story."[18]

Eighteen Acres received praise from several sources and across the political spectrum. Patrick Anderson of The Washington Post wrote, "To say that Nicolle Wallace's 'Eighteen Acres' is one of the best novels I've read about life in the White House may be faint praise—there haven't been many good ones—but her book is both an enjoyable read and a serious look at what high-level political pressures do to people."[19] Craig Wilson of USA Today wrote, "Nicolle Wallace actually knows what she's talking about"[20] and Ashley Parker of The New York Times called the book "an engaging, easy read."[21] TV personalities such as George Stephanopoulos,[22] Rachel Maddow,[23] John King,[24] and Andrea Mitchell[25] also praised Eighteen Acres.

In September 2011, Wallace published the sequel to Eighteen Acres, It's Classified, about a fictional presidential campaign troubled by a mentally ill vice presidential candidate.[26] Wallace said the premise was inspired by her experience as a Senior Adviser to the McCain/Palin campaign.[27]


On September 3, 2014, ABC announced Wallace would join The View as a new co-host alongside newcomer Rosie Perez.[28] The premiere episode of the new season aired on September 15, 2014. In July 2015, it was confirmed that Wallace would leave the show at the end of the season.

Wallace serves in a number of capacities with NBC News and its cable network MSNBC. She is a frequent contributor and guest host on MSNBC's Morning Joe, as well as a contributor on NBC's Today Show.[29] Beginning in 2016, Wallace, along with Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, and Eugene Robinson, served as chief political commentator for MSNBC's live coverage of election results.

Personal life[edit]

Wallace, the eldest of four children,[30] was born in Orange County, California,[31] and grew up in Orinda, California, a town across the bay from San Francisco. Her mother was a third-grade teacher assistant in the public schools, and her father was an antiques dealer.[32] Her grandfather, Thomas Devenish, was a Manhattan antiques dealer, part of "Devenish and Company".[33] He was born in England to parents who were vaudevillians and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1947.[34] Wallace is also of Greek descent.[35]

Wallace, a 1990 graduate of Miramonte High School, received a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994,[30] and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1996.[3][30] She lives in New York City and Connecticut with her husband, Mark Wallace,[7] who was a Bush-appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and in 2014 he was CEO of both the Tigris Financial Group and the nonpartisan United Against Nuclear Iran. They have a son named Liam who was born in 2012.[36]

Wallace is close friends with Katie Couric and CNN's Dana Bash.[37][38]

Published works[edit]

  • Wallace, Nicolle (2010). Eighteen Acres: A Novel. Atria Books. ISBN 978-1439194829. 
  • Wallace, Nicolle (2011). It's Classified: A Novel. Atria Books. ISBN 978-1451610963. 
  • Wallace, Nicolle (2015). Madam President: A Novel. Atria Books/Emily Bestler Books. ISBN 978-1476756899. 


  1. ^ "Nicolle Wallace". Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Note". ABC News. May 30, 2003. 
  3. ^ a b Eric M. Appleman (March 25, 2006). "President George W. Bush-Campaign Organization". Democracy in Action. George Washington University. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Michael Abramowitz (June 28, 2006). "White House to Lose a Top Mouthpiece". the Washington Post. 
  5. ^ a b "Personnel Announcement". Office of the Press Secretary. White House. January 5, 2005. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Elisabeth Bumiller (January 10, 2005). "New Aide Aims to Defrost the Press Room". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "Novel Approach". California Magazine. Cal Alumni Association. September 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ Ana Marie Cox (October 28, 2008). "A Q and A With Nicolle Wallace, Palin's Chaperone". The Daily Beast. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Dana Bash, Peter Hamby and John King (October 26, 2008). "Palin's 'going rogue,' McCain aide says". CNN. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  10. ^ Agrell, Siri. "'Rogue' Palin eyeing 2012 White House campaign, party insiders say". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  11. ^ Ben Smith (October 25, 2008). "Palin allies report rising camp tension". Politico. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ Hall, Katy (March 12, 2012). "Former McCain-Palin Aide: 'Game Change' Was 'True Enough To Make Me Squirm'". Huffington Post. 
  13. ^ George Stephanopoulos (March 11, 2012). "Former Sarah Palin Adviser Says 'Game Change' Was 'True Enough to Make Me Squirm'". ABC News. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Jeb Bush has a major-league sad about the 2016 election". Washington Post. July 12, 2016. Retrieved July 12, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Nicolle Wallace". Leading Authorities. 
  16. ^ Avlon, John. "The Pro-Freedom Republicans Are Coming: 131 Sign Gay-Marriage Brief". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 21, 2013. 
  17. ^ David Jackson (February 4, 2010). "Ex-White House staffer pens book – fiction, about a female president". USA Today. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  18. ^ Steve Holland (August 9, 2010). "Nicolle Wallace's novel about White House: Eighteen Acres". Reuters. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ Patrick Anderson (October 18, 2010). "Review of 'Eighteen Acres,' a political thriller by Nicolle Wallace". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  20. ^ Craig Wilson (October 18, 2010). "Washington's inner workings revealed in 'Eighteen Acres'". USA Today. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  21. ^ Ashley Parker (October 24, 2010). "What Change Could Look Like". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  22. ^ George Stephanopoulos (October 19, 2010). "Inside the 'Eighteen Acres'". ABC News. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  23. ^ Rachel Maddow. "The Interview". MSNBC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  24. ^ John King (October 21, 2010). "GOP insider's novel approach". CNN. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  25. ^ Andrea Mitchell. "Andrea Mitchell Reports". MSNBC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  26. ^ "It's Classified". Simon & Schuster. September 26, 2011. 
  27. ^ Oct 2011 – Palin 'Incredibly Withdrawn' as VP Candidate; Sparked Talk of Removal from Ticket
  28. ^ "Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace Join The View as Co-hosts". ABC. September 3, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Analyst Nicolle Wallace: Hang on tight for 'roller coaster' GOP debate". Today Show. September 16, 2015. 
  30. ^ a b c Pogash, Carol (Fall 2011). "Novel Approach". Cal Alumni Association. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy and Family History - MyHeritage". Retrieved January 6, 2017. 
  32. ^ ELISABETH BUMILLER (January 10, 2005). "New Aide Aims to Defrost the Press Room". The New York Times. 
  33. ^ "Deaths DEVENISH, THOMAS". The New York Times. November 3, 2002. 
  34. ^ Moonan, Wendy (April 4, 2008). "Every Piece Was His Favorite". The New York Times. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Meet 'The View's' New Greek American Co-Host Nicolle Wallace". The Pappas Post. September 24, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014. 
  36. ^ Nagourney, Adam; Kornblut, Anne E. (September 5, 2005). "White House Enacts a Plan to Ease Political Damage". The New York Times. 
  37. ^ Meet Nicolle Wallace, the new co-host of ABC’s ‘The View’ Washington Post. September 4, 2014.
  38. ^ "Friendship: Katie Couric & Nicolle Wallace". More Magazine. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Bartlett
White House Director of Communications
Succeeded by
Kevin Sullivan
Media offices
Preceded by
Sherri Shepherd
Co-Host of The View
Seat 2

Succeeded by
Michelle Collins