Watch CBSN Live

Nancy Reagan On Life Without "Ronnie"

This story was written by Prerana Swami

Former first lady Nancy Reagan has often said that her life began after she married her husband. Approaching her 88th birthday, Reagan reveals details of her life after the White House and the death of former president Ronald Reagan to Vanity Fair.

Since leaving the White House in 1989, Reagan has settled in California. She claimed that her husband's biggest disappointment after eight years in Washington was his inability to get rid of nuclear weapons altogether. As for the role "Reaganomics " plays in the current economic crisis, she says, "I don't think Ronnie led us into anything that wasn't good."

After Mr. Reagan died in 2004, the former first lady became an advocate for stem-cell research . When President Obama failed to invite her to the White House after reversing Former President George W. Bush's policy on embryonic stem-cell research, Reagan claims he missed out on an opportunity.

"I would have gone, and you know I don't like to travel," Reagan said. "Politically it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh, well, nobody's perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it."

To this day, Reagan admits that she misses her husband "an awful lot."

"It sounds strange, but…I see Ronnie," Reagan said. "At nighttime, if I wake up, I think Ronnie's there, and I start to talk to him. It's not important what I say. But the fact is, I do think he's there. And I see him."

Reagan will meet with Mr. Obama Tuesday to witness the signing of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act. The act, according to Govtrack, will establish the Reagan Centennial Commission to "Plan and carry out activities to honor Ronald Reagan…provide assistance to governmental agencies and civic groups to carry out such activities; and…develop other federal activities to honor Ronald Reagan" in commemoration of the former president on the anniversary of his 100th birthday on Feb. 6, 2011.

Nancy Reagan will also meet with California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday for the unveiling of a statue of Mr. Reagan in honor of his life and legacy, the Washington Times reports.

View CBS News In