Praising her as "exactly the right person," Vice President Walter Mondale last night formally announced the appointment of Lynda Bird Robb as chair of the President's Advisory Committee for Women, succeeding Bella Abzug who was fired in January after a confrontation with President Carter over the committee's role.
Robb has had national and state experience as well as experience as a homemaker and mother, and "no one has worked harder for the ERA," Mondale said.
"We have made progress in recent years in terms of women's rights . . . but we're a long way from the fairness people born in this country regardless of sex have a right to expect," he said. "We want to hear from this committee-both good news and bad news-and we want to hear it straight."
Mondale made the announcement at a reception at his home for members of the President's Advisory Committee for Women which has been run by Marjorie Bell Chambers, president of the American Association of University Women, since Abzug's resignation. Mondale announced that Chambers and Elizabeth Koontz, assistant state superintendent of education for North Carolina and chair of the National Commission on Working Women would serve as vice chairs of the President's Advisory Committee.
Lynda Robb told the members of the committee that her expertise is as a "mother and a homemaker," and said "I hope I can represent those women who do not belong to anything in the women's movement.
"Women do have an obligation when they can to work for other women and other people . . . that's a tradition we have in this country of volunteering." She said that she wanted the committee to address issues of health and welfare and education and expressed the hope that "one of the things the committe can do is pass the ERA."
Abzug was dismissed after the committee issued a statement criticizing Carter's budget for a failure to emphasize economic needs of women. At the time some members of the administration were offended by the committee's public dissent. "I've been assured by the president we will be independent," Robb said. "I'm sure there are things we'll agree on and things we don't agree on."
Robb is the wife of Virginia Lt. Gov. Charles S. Robb and the daughter of former president Lyndon Johnson. CAPTION: Picture, Vice President Walter Mondale, left, Mrs. Mondale and Lynda Bird Robb; by Ellsworth Davis-The Washington Post