Richard Lugar, victim of Incumbent Entitlement Syndrome:
Lugar did not lose because the Tea Party targeted him. He lost because he was no longer representing the people of Indiana. In theory and practice he has truly become a United States senator.
He lost because the driver’s license in his wallet shows the address of a home he sold 37 years ago -- before I was born. He lost because Hoosiers didn’t know enough about him to appreciate the long years of solid service he’s provided to them and the country. He lost because he believed, like so many life-long politicians do, that he was somehow entitled to re-election.
[. . .]
That’s actually a classic description of one of the chief symptoms of IES: believing it’s beneath you to actually ask voters for their support.
Another symptom is experiencing feelings of immortality -- and an accompanying aversion to retirement.
I think the phenomenon described is pretty common, and "entitlement" may be too strong a word for what these politicians think. If you've been at a job very long and like it, you feel like you belong there and can't imagine life without it. Most of us in that position just have to do the job in a way that pleases a handful of people responsible for our paychecks. But it's dangerous to be complacent when you depend on the voters and the goodwill of the whole state. We don't know the people in Washington are doing a good job unless they come back often and tell us. Lugar forgot that.