It's hard to visit Washington without addressing a recent political controversy, so Ron Reagan did that just when appearing at the Jefferson Hotel Monday night for a fete celebrating his new book "My Father at 100." Reagan recently got roasted for suggesting that his father had Alzheimer's while in the White House. He explained to partygoers and to former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who was interviewing him in front of the roomful of guests, that his point was more subtle. "I admit that at times, on occasions during the presidency, I did think that I noticed something that seemed just slightly off with him and I've described it as watching a TV that shifts out of focus ever so slightly and then snaps back, I didn't know what it was at the time," he explained. "Nowhere in the book do I diagnose him with Alzheimer's while he was in office, I just admit that it was one of the things I worried about."

Afterward, Reagan shared with Yeas & Nays a favorite anecdote, dealing with his father's "considerable powers of denial." Ron Reagan recalled leaving an important Washington event with his dad in the presidential limo. "At that point in his life, my father had decided to revive the thumbs-up gesture," Reagan said. "He was thumbs-upping and at some point along the way a youngish man must have gotten under the sawhorses or broken away from the police lines [and] he was promoting a different hand gesture." As the young man flipped the bird, President Reagan looked at his family. "Without missing a beat [he] turned to the rest of us and said, 'You see, I think it's catching on,' " Reagan said.

The cocktail party was hosted by Tammy Haddad, for whom Ron Reagan said he would do anything. "A pole will be constructed here and after a few minutes I'll slip off to the side and get into a tight G-string," he said, laughing. "Anything Tammy wants."