Connecticut's senior U.S. senator, Christopher Dodd, has been heavily criticized for months, suffering from poor poll numbers and questions about discount mortgages he received.
The criticisms stopped Friday, when the 65-year-old Democrat announced he's been diagnosed with an early stage of prostate cancer and will have surgery soon.
Two of Dodd's potential Republican rivals in the 2010 election issued get-well wishes, saying he was in their families' prayers. And Chris Healy, chairman of the state Republicans and a vocal critic, was one of the first to e-mail reporters a statement wishing Dodd "the very best in his treatment and rehabilitation."
"There's certain things that are political, and there are certain things that are personal," Healy said when asked about his statement. "I think the more we respect that line, maybe people's image of the political class might improve."