Marco Rubio's Book Tour Looks Mighty Vice-Presidential

Florida Senator and possible GOP vice presidential pick Marco Rubio's swing through bookstores to promote his upcoming biography looks pretty politically savvy.

His summer bus tour will swing through his home state of Florida --a swing state-- as well as North Carolina and Virginia, critical presidential battlegrounds this fall. On the way, he'll make several appearances in South Carolina, where Republicans hold their first-in-the-South presidential primary.

Rubio has been informally auditioning for the traditional vice presidential role as attack dog, recently telling South Carolina Republicans that Americans hadn't seen such a "divisive figure in modern American history" as Democratic President Barack Obama.

The bus tour, set for the week of the Fourth of July holiday, is aimed at promoting his autobiography, "An American Son," to be released in June. The tentative schedule, provided by aides to The Associated Press, calls for Rubio to start the tour in Miami, where he lives, and end in the northern Virginia suburbs outside of Washington, where he works.

The book's cover features Rubio's current title - "U.S. Senator from Florida" - but the schedule highlights his national ambitions.

His bus will start out in West Palm Beach, Fla., and stop in most of the state's largest cities. After a stop in Atlanta, it's on to South Carolina, where he'll be in Columbia, the state capital, and Greenville, in the conservative northern part of the state.

Then he'll head to North Carolina, a state Obama won in 2008 but that will likely be closely contested in 2012. He's planning stops in four cities there before taking the bus straight through Virginia's critical swing region, stopping in Norfolk, Richmond and northern Virginia.

Rubio has been steadily raising his national profile, and is also discussed as a potential presidential contender in 2016 if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney loses his White House bid this year. Rubio raced to finish his autobiography so it would come out the same day as "The Rise of Marco Rubio," a competing biography written by a Washington Post reporter. Author Manuel Roig-Franzia has already revealed details about Rubio's past, including his childhood stint in the Mormon Church.

This article is based on The Associated Press.

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