First Lady Nancy Reagan is expected to be among a delegation named by the White House to attend the funeral of Princess Grace in Monaco on Saturday, White House sources indicated last night.
Officials said that "diplomatic considerations" prevented them from announcing the names of the delegation until this morning.
"We have to notify the palace before we make it public," said one source at a publication party at The Washington Post for staff writer Lou Cannon's new biography of the president, "Reagan."
The source said Mrs. Reagan and Princess Grace became friends back in their Hollywood days when both were under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Sheila Tate, the first lady's press secretary, said Mrs. Reagan had tried to telephone Princess Grace at the hospital in Monte Carlo but was told no calls were being taken.
Word that Mrs. Reagan probably would attend the funeral was the kind of talk that sent journalists who cover the White House scrambling for a telephone. "I don't suppose The Post would mind if I used one?" said UPI's White House correspondent Helen Thomas, without waiting for an answer.
That still left Cannon and about 299 other invited colleagues, competitors and political sparring partners jammed into the room.
"I've been keeping very busy, I'm rushing all around," Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger told one reporter.
"You saw my friend Bashir," the reporter said of slain Lebanese President-elect Gemayel.
"Yes, two weeks ago. A shocking thing," Weinberger said, adding "a strong pro-American."
"He was a killer, a mean man," countered the journalist. "Who do you think did him in?"
Weinberger shrugged. "The security didn't help."
Other sparring partners included former Reagan aides Lyn Nofziger and Nancy Reynolds and some present Reagan aides, Chief of Staff James Baker, Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver, Presidential Counselor Edwin Meese, White House Counsel Fred Fielding and Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes.
Nofziger was hardly in despair over the Senate defeat yesterday that set aside anti-abortion legislation, which President Reagan and conservatives had backed.
"That's fine by me. Ronald Reagan and I are on different sides on that," said Nofziger. "I've always been -- I just don't talk about it with him."
Of Tuesday's elections, in which moderates and liberals made sometimes surprisingly strong showings, Meese said, "In a primary it's hard to make any conclusions. I don't think you can draw any particular conclusions from these."
Baker was noncommittal about a remark made earlier in the day by White House Communications Director David Gergen. In it Gergen indicated that whether he stays on at the White House after the election will depend upon which "team" -- thought to be a reference to James Baker -- remains there, too.
"Nothing is decided," said Baker. "I'm going to do what the president wants me to do, whatever that is. If he wants me to stay another week, I'll stay. If he wants me to stay 6 1/2 more years, I'll stay 6 1/2 more years."