Kerry McCarthy of Riverhead already camped outside of the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan last month but wouldn’t miss out on another chance to see President Bill Clinton and bestselling author James Patterson, this time a bit closer to home at Book Revue in Huntington on Thursday.
“I stayed overnight and saw him at the signing in the city as well and I came again. It was wonderful to meet him. Sleeping overnight was pretty brutal but it was delightful to meet the president, he’s always very cheerful and a real people person,” she said.
She was just one of about 500 people who waited on a line that snaked around the corner of New York Avenue and through the shelves of the store to meet the pair in order to get a copy of the new book they penned together, “The President is Missing.”
According to Amazon, the novel is a political thriller that “sheds a stunning light upon the inner workings and vulnerabilities of our nation.” $30 tickets for the event went on sale in May and sold out within an hour and a half. Those attending Thursday’s event faced heavy security presence, needing to pass through a metal detector and bag check by the Secret Service before entering the store. During the event, the two sat side by side against a bookshelf filled with copies of the new book, conversing briefly with fans while signing.
Because the novel was written by figures from two diverse fields, the event attracted fans of both Clinton’s presidency and Patterson’s literature. “It was a pleasure to meet the author of Alex Cross. That series was impeccable.” said Orlando Urena-Cordero of Patchogue. Regarding Clinton, Steve and Arlene Weill of Dix Hills said, “We enjoyed having him as president, he was one of our best. We’re very big fans of him and Madame Secretary.”
Some attended the event as a way of reminiscing on a simpler political climate. Kelly Ward said, “Seeing Clinton is very good for my soul right now regarding what’s going on with politics”
Political activist Robert Zimmerman, who was appointed to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Presidential Commission on the Arts by Clinton, said “The Clintons speak to the best of America: pride, history, decency, civility, and focusing on achievement and building people up. As cynical as people are, remember there was a great time in the Bill Clinton era and there will be great times again in the future.”