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Near U. Wisconsin, Children's Novelist Blume Supports Obama

This story was written by Alex Truong, Badger Herald

While Award-winning childrens novelist Judy Blume may provoke childhood memories, the author was more concerned with the fierce urgency of now as she threw her support behind Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama during a talk in Madison Thursday.

Female Democrats, both young and old, comprised the majority of Blume's audience.

Blume is known best for her books Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret, Freckle Juice and Superfudge.She visited Memorial Union Theater Wednesday for the Wisconsin Book Festival.

Blume spoke on a wide variety of topics, including her strong belief in the quality of Obamas character and ability.

This is our chance to make a difference and to change things, Blume said. We have to do it.

Blume said the election is especially important to her because many of her novels have been banned by libraries in the past. Blume affirmed her First Amendment right and called for a return of the marketplace of ideas, adding, We need to protect our intellectual freedoms.

Addressing womens rights specifically abortion rights Blume advocated for a womans right to choose regardless of state legislation. Though intended for an adult voter and volunteer audience, there was anumber of young attendees.

Cassidy Gruber Baruth, an 11-year-old Obama supporter and fan of Blumes novels, felt inspired by the writers words. She spoke so passionately about Obama. Ive never heard anybody speak like that, Gruber Baruth said.

Blume next plans to travel to Florida where she will continue to speak on behalf of Obama.

She expressed dismay at the potential turnout of McCain supporters, and responded with uncertainty regarding her strategy of converting Republican voters.

I dont know how Ill do it, but I have to try, Blume said.

After taking questions, Blumes final remarks were those of hope. As she prepared to sign copies of her books brought by the numerous members of the audience, she once again expressed her faith in the Democratic candidate.

We have a chance to get the best and brightest elected, and it is amazing, Blume said.