Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaks with the media after his book signing at the Books-A-Million store to promote his book An American Son at the Discover Mills Mall in Lawrenceville on Thursday.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Pete Dingeldey stood in line for more than four hours Thursday morning to get a book signed and shake hands with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
It was a long wait, the Lawrenceville resident said, "but well worth it."
The U.S. Senator shook hands with Dingeldey and more than 100 others who waited in a long line stretching throughout the Discover Mills Books-A-Million store.
Rubio, a leader in the Tea Party movement who has been discussed nationally as a potential vice presidential candidate, signed copies of his book, "An American Son," to the delight of many supporters.
Dingeldey thinks the man is "a unique person who understands the world. I foresee him as a future president of the United States."
Hayley Zvodar, a 22-year-old Carrollton resident, said she enjoyed getting to meet Rubio.
"He's honest, he has integrity, and he was very friendly today," Zvodar said. "He was just like I thought he would be."
While he declined to discuss the vice presidency, as leaders wait for GOP nominee Mitt Romney to announce his choice, Rubio spoke about the journey to becoming a U.S. Senator.
"(My parents) told me I could do everything I wanted to do," Rubio said. "I think they would be very glad that their sacrifice was worth something."
The journey, he said, instilled in him the values that he said many now involved in the tea party movement share.
"I believe America is special and needs to be protected," Rubio said, adding that, thanks to social media, like-minded people no longer need a political organization to fight for what they believe in. "I think that has changed the dynamic and empowered a lot of people."
Dingeldey, for one, said he felt empowered by the man's message.
"If anyone has had the opportunity to see (Rubio) or listen to him speak, they'll understand that this guy is a man of substance whose future possibilities with this nation are endless."