Storm in a cappuccino cup? 106-year-old nun supports Obama

October 15, 2008

Sister Cecelia Gaudette/CBS photoSister Cecilia Gaudette is an American Catholic nun who is spunky despite her 106 years.  She was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 25, 1902 — when Republican Teddy Roosevelt was president  — and has been living (until recently) in obscurity in a convent in Rome.  The last time she voted was in 1952, for Dwight Eisenhower, another Republican. Now she is voting for Barack Obama. Read the Reuters story here and watch the CBS video to find out why.

Not surprisingly, the blogosphere has reacted with both praise and condemnation for Gaudette for backing a candidate who supports abortion rights.  Some readers even see the story as a kind of covert media campaigning for Obama. Last month a Roman Catholic with a much higher profile,  Archbishop Raymond Burke, a senior American official at the Vatican, caused a stir when he said the Democratic Party risked becoming a “party of death” because of its choices on abortion, embryonic stem cells and other bioethical questions.

With the Obama button on her habit and little American flag in hand, Sister Cecelia seems to be a perfect subject for a nice little story. Is that all this is? Or do you think her critics are right to read much more into this?


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Shortly after reading the article, which is a typical human interest piece with a topical twist, I saw a rather snide comment on a blog accusing the author of campaigning or something of the sort. I don’t think it is, myself. It’s an interesting story. Sister Cecilia would be a good news story no matter who she was voting for, and since she says she’s decided to vote in a way that some people might find unexpected, it’s appropriate to cover that.

Posted by Tony Sidaway | Report as abusive

Sister Cecilia is a good friend and indeed “that is all there is” to the story. She speaks her mind, is free, (from New Hampshire) independent, and a very holy woman. She prays constantly and loves to play cards! I salute her for her determination to vote in this election. She is an inspiration!

Posted by Dennis Murphy | Report as abusive

why did she stop voting after 1952?

Posted by lais | Report as abusive

Free speech is a part of the constitution, isn’t it?

Let her express whatever.

Let’s not judge her personal candour or her identity.

She is what she is – an elderly nun with a viewpoint. :-)

Posted by TheTruthIs… | Report as abusive

@ TheTruth

Those of us that open our eyes about Obama’s lies and pandering see this as more of what the Obama campaign is famous for… taking a nice “idea” and making it into magically a pro Obama BS piece.
So she is 106… and this means her opinion is worth more? no…
So she is a nun, last I checked as the article placed it she is going against her faith…
And also as the article pointed out she hasn’t voted since 1952? so magically her opinion is that this election is more important? no…
What about the real question, was she REALLY going to vote for Obama before his (to quote Mccain) “cronies” find her and then use it as a nice human interest that is really just an attempt to ignore what the priest at the vatican said…

So when Obama’s thrall of sheep shred him for his mistakes (which there have been many) rather than ignoring them I think that all things that people for Obama say is worthless.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

The fight against abortion rights has been lost and the American Catholic Church has lost it. Time enough. How people feel about such a private and moral matter as abortion should never have been a political issue or legislated for or against in the first place. It’s none of our business and it’s time to move past letting religions try to operate politics in this country. How Obama feels about abortion rights is his business. I’m a Catholic. I’m voting for Obama. I’m not 106 either, or a nun.

Posted by mum | Report as abusive

I think that this is a special article. It is not everyday that one hears about a 106-year-old being alive, let alone voting. It sounds like she has really given it a lot of thought and has put the two men onto the balance and found Obama to be a man worthy of her vote. Good for her.

I was shocked by the mean/inflammatory comment by GMT about Obama. Why can’t people (in this case, a 106 year-old nun) say something nice about a candidate without other people feeling like they have to knock that candidate down with some mean or nasty comment? I honestly think that this is a huge problem in our country. Why can’t people mean what they say without being mean?

Posted by AMB | Report as abusive

Just one quick point:
“So she is 106… and this means her opinion is worth more? no…?”

Ermn, actually, YES. Yes it does mean her opinion is worth more. Call me crazy, but anyone who has lived for over a hundred years, frankly, has a more important opinion than a lot of people. Age, wisdom, experience…these words actually have meanings, and, I’d say this lady has all three of them covered.

Posted by Joshua | Report as abusive

I’m sorry but anyone who is over 100 has seen and experienced a ton of things. Her knowledge and wisdom from these years is a valuable insight and the fact that she is a Catholic nun voting for Obama is a HUGE statement.

She would be taking views from throughout her life. Her experiences as a nun in the Catholic church. Her life in America. Her life in Rome. She has soooo much insight in various aspects and that does indeed make her decision an important and valuable one.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

if she was endorsing McCain, the mccain camp would fly out there and throw a huge party… Fox news would be all over it… they’d be saying how she speaks for all “real” catholics (not those fake ones like Biden…)
And they’d be saying, “see this is just more proof that mccain is more qualified” (because of his age).

Posted by gw | Report as abusive

this is the biggest left-wing conspiracy of the century…
100 years ago a small group of socialist/communist/tree huggers forced this young innocent 6 year old into the convent and forced her to pretend to be a good catholic. They brainwashed her and convinced her that the messiah would arrive in 100 years and that she would need to be there to carry forth his message…

Posted by gw | Report as abusive


Why are you mocking her and dismissing her views? Perhaps she’s decided that abortion is just one issue in a basket of issues that need to be resolved? Many of those issues also involve life and death decisions. And some of those issues may bring the world to some kind of secular disaster or Armageddon (NBC-Nuclear, Biological or Chemical). Let each man look after his own soul before commenting on the souls others (and you did). After all, can you claim to have done more for your faith than she has done for hers? Seems to me you are casting stones. Now that is @ Truth.

Posted by Secular Man | Report as abusive

Sister Cecelia has not lived in the US for more than 50 years, yet she was permitted to vote by absentee ballot; clearly, an infirmity in our elections process. But more importantly, it is incomprehensible how anyone who considers him/her self a Catholic could support Obama. A “good man” says the nun- perhaps she has dementia. The nuns by whom I was schooled would have been appalled not just by Obama’s stand on abortion but even more by his refusal to support a bill which would have mandated medical care for babies who survived abortions. While one may make an argument that life does not begin at conception, there is no dispute that once that child is out of the womb, it is an individual entitled to all the rights granted to him/her by the US Constitution. No contorted reading of the Constitution is required to reach such a conclusion and any denial of care is outright murder.

Posted by jane davis | Report as abusive

Last time I checked the Catholic Church has a crucial belief in LIFE beginning at CONCEPTION. This NUN at 106 being close to the Glory of the end of her time on earth…chooses to support not only some one who completely approves abortion AT EVERY STAGE 3rd TRIMESTER…. INCLUDING INFANTACIDE ( He Obama is actually proud of his stance) but is proud of the fact she had not voted for 50 years !!! Where has she been? Certainly not learning a thing about HER own church.

Let’s HOPE the POPE hears of this and straightens her out!

Posted by lovefreedom | Report as abusive

By the way, you can call yourself a Catholic and differ with the Church, granted, but….if you are a representative of THE CHURCH as a NUN or PRIEST shouldn’t your BELIEFS BE IN LINE WITH SUCH A BASIC TENANT OF THE CHURCH!!!!!

Posted by lovefreedom | Report as abusive

GW …by the way McCain is pro life ….so is Palin. Biden who seems to think he still lives in Scranton was reprimanded by his Bishop. The truth is the Truth…I know it’s tough to keep it all straight when you are constantly changing your tune.

Posted by lovefreedom | Report as abusive

This is a wonderful story that should be taken as it is, someone who is choosing to exercise their basic rights as an American citizen…to VOTE. I am Catholic. I am a Democrat. I am also going to vote for Obama. I feel that our soldier’s lives are just as important as anyone elses. Why do we continue to send our young women and men to war? Am I unpatriotic? Heck no! My grandfather was a World War II Vet, my father a Vietnam Vet, and my ex-husband a Desert Storm Vet. My father’s flag flies proudly at my house every Veteran’s Day. But aren’t our soldiers lives just as important? Bring them home now, treat them how they deserve to be treated. Spend our tax dollars on Veteran’s benefits instead of bailing out wall street. When I think about how we have to pay for that mess I just seethe!!!

Posted by Jae | Report as abusive

Did I miss it? I didn’t read that she was aware that 0bama is the most pro-abortion senator.
And what is this with “a good man with a good private life”? She obviously has never heard of Ayers, Wright, Rezko, etc.
Is ignorance bliss?

Posted by tony arden | Report as abusive

Why is a Catholic Num voting for Socialism and Abortion? Is she rejecting her God? Socialism takes away a basic right God gave her has to ownership of land?

Posted by Kerrn Kenney | Report as abusive