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Nancy Reagan on a Wife's Duty to Protect Her Husband

June 18, 1988

Let us not allow First Lady Nancy Reagan to becloud the issue with her pious comments on a wife's duty to her husband (Part I, June 10). That is so obvious it needs no mention. But if she puts this duty before the affairs of state that is quite another matter, for that area is the business of this nation. If a President is unable to shoulder the burdens of the job, he has options, which do not include uxorial interference.

It might be to everyone's advantage if this lady curbed her passion for attention (and it would undoubtedly benefit her husband's health too) and if she observed the basic rules of good manners when accompanying her husband to foreign places. Her behavior to her Russian hostess at the recent summit, whether she personally likes Raisa Gorbachev or not, was embarrassing to say the least.

She noticeably knew her place, however, in the presence of the Queen of England, but that merely emphasized a rooted contempt for a communist country that overrode all the rules of courtesy--and who knows?--in tensions between East and West, adding to her husband's burdens.

SOPHIA WYATT

Santa Monica

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