The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

“The President Is Missing”

Cybersecurity, a female assassin and a missing president seem to only be found in fictitious movie plots. However, a former president of the United States releases a new fiction novel with underlined issues.

On Monday, June 11 Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio interviewed the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

The interview revolved around the collaboration between President Clinton and distinguished author, James Patterson. After numerous handwritten drafts, they brought the 400-page novel, “The President Is Missing” to life.

Since its publication on June 4 the president started a book tour throughout the nation. Many curious San Antonians and enthusiasts came out to see the interview to hear more about the inspiration behind his novel.

Sisters, Diana and Nelda Barrientos attended the event together as a way to display their fascination for the Clinton family.

“He (Clinton) lead eight years of great prosperity and did many good things for everybody,” Diana said. “He’s renowned and admired all over the world.”

Many were eager to have a former president in their presence. From wanting to know more about his personal experiences and with a hope of finding relief from the current political environment in the United States.

“Our democracy is in a pinnacle area, it can go one way or another and it’s very scary what we are seeing, so we all need to be heard and stand up for our values which this is what America is all about,” Nelda said.

As Clinton was introduced the auditorium filled with a loud applause and a standing ovation.

One of the first questions Matson asked was about the meaning behind incorporating cybersecurity into his novel. Clinton was clear of the importance of cyber attacks, especially after the 2017 election outcome. He believes that a nation as powerful as the United States should have a strong defense towards cyber-terrorism.

Clinton researched real issues and scenarios that could cause devastating cyber attacks in the nation. He explained by incorporating cybersecurity in his novel he hopes to bring awareness and thought-provoking ideas for a plan of action.

Prior to the event, Matson shaped her questions with the Clinton Foundation’s suggestions in mind. But at the same time, she formulated two additional questions of her own.

Her first question was concerning the educational system and the current “average” statues on an international scale. The second question was covering the #MeToo movement in the organizational setting and how leaders can take the initiative in building an equal work environment for everyone.

Without hesitation, Clinton responded with what he thought would make a difference in education.

“You have to have really strong principals and a recruiting system for good teachers, and I think we should try to pay people enough so that it’s obvious that we respect them,” Clinton said.

Regarding the #MeToo movement the former president believes that everyone including minorities and women “should feel safe and not threatened in the workplace.”

Matson was in accordance with his responses.

“This was a historical figure, someone very active in the political society…I thought his responses were very deep, and they were not superficial,” Matson said. “I thought he had good suggestions and he used examples to provide insights and thoughts.”

The president concluded by mentioning future projects he hopes to accomplish in the near future. He plans to dedicate the rest of 2018 to assist hurricane victims in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. He also plans to “organize an affordable but adequate act and response team” to combat the opioid epidemic.

Clinton continues on his book tour, “The President Is Missing” throughout the nation for the rest of the month of June.

About the Author

Ruben Betancourt
Ruben Betancourt is a senior Communication major and a Spanish minor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Ruben is the Editor-in-Chief for The Mesquite and works part-time at the Alamo Colleges District Business Office, as an Accounts Receivable Assistant. He is a Greehey Scholar and a San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists scholarship recipient. He is also a member of the National Leadership and Success Society. He enjoys the performing arts and he enjoys learning new languages. He plans to work in the public relations field locally and in the future, he plans to live abroad and work in international PR.

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