106-year-old Obama- supporting nun shocked by fame

Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:43am EDT
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By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) - A 106-year-old American nun who became a minor celebrity after she appeared on television saying she is voting for Barack Obama is "startled and a bit anguished" by all the attention she is getting, her order said on Monday.

Sister Cecilia Gaudette, born on March 25, 1902, has decided to step out of the limelight and back into the comfortable obscurity that characterized her life before the media discovered that she will be one of the oldest Americans to vote.

"Sister Cecilia is tired, she is startled and she is even a bit anguished by all the attention," Sister Carmen Aymar, a deputy superior general at the convent in Rome where the voting nun lives, told Reuters by phone.

"Now she wants to be left alone," Aymar said.

After Gaudette appeared on CBS News in the United States and on BBC radio saying she was voting for the first time since 1952 and that it would be for Obama, the convent was besieged by calls from reporters and media outlets across the world.

"I'm encouraged by Senator Obama," she told the BBC. "I've never met him, but he seems to be a good man with a good private life. That's the first thing. Then he must be able to govern."

The story of Sister Cecilia, who was born in Manchester, New Hampshire and voting by absentee ballot over the Internet, was picked up by Italy's leading newspaper, Corriere della Sera, and other media.

"She is very proud to be an American," Sister Aymar told Reuters. "She keeps an American flag in her office."   Continued...

<p>Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold up signs during a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, January 30, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>