WASHINGTON — Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev, after exchanging perfunctory handshakes on the White House lawn, discussed the historic sites of Washington today as the battle of the charmers commenced.
The strong-minded and glamorous first ladies, widely reported to have waged a cold war over summitry etiquette, barely looked at each other during the summit opening ceremony while their husbands spoke of peace and good will for mankind.
Mrs. Reagan, who was reportedly riled by her stylish counterpart's last-minute decision to attend the 1986 Reykjavik summit, was irritated again by Raisa Gorbachev's delay in answering an invitation to tea here Wednesday, her aides have said.
But according to Nancy Reagan's press secretary, things went well during their first Washington encounter this morning.
"Mrs. Reagan described the 20-minute visit with the Soviet first lady as very pleasant and found Mrs. Gorbachev very nice," said secretary Elaine Crispen.