With all the political gain President Reagan has achieved with his emphasis on family values, this past couple of weeks of squabbling within his own family must have been especially embarrassing. His son Michael, according to the upcoming Newsweek magazine, will be at his father's inauguration and has suggested a Christmas get-together where the president, for the first time, may have the opportunity to meet his 19-month-old granddaughter, Ashley.
The first public disclosure of family crisis came when First Lady Nancy Reagan admitted there was a "three-year estrangement" with 40-year-old Michael, the adopted son of the president and his first wife, Jane Wyman. Newsweek reports that the president's eldest child, Maureen, had been delegated to talk to Michael, but that her comments about his "vendetta" against Nancy Reagan haven't helped the cause. But the other Reagan children, Patti and Ron, don't visit very often. In fact, United Press International White House reporter Helen Thomas writes that "the Reagans see less of their children than any other first family that has lived in the White House in the last 20 years." The problem has apparently caused so much concern that White House aides are considering arranging a family meeting early in January in California.