Richard Carmona believes he will win a Senate seat in Arizona, where no Democrat has been elected in 18 years.
"The people know me, they consider me one of their own, and they're very proud of me stepping up to serve my country once again," said Carmona, explaining his appeal on Tuesday's Hardball. Carmona is a medical doctor, professor, former Surgeon General, and Vietnam veteran who served in combat.
Carmona suggested that the extremism of the Republican Party might drive more Arizona voters back to the Democrats. "I really think" the moderate Democratic tradition in the state can make a comeback, he said, "and what's helping us most is this extremist rhetoric that has been happening not only in Arizona but throughout the West."
Polls show Carmona to be competitive with Republican incumbent Jeff Flake. Former President Bill Clinton will hold a rally for him on Wednesday. "If you pull this off you'll be a man to watch for years and years," said host Chris Matthews.