Matt Cooper ponders the tragedy of a fallen politico:
There's something more tragic to the fall of William Jefferson. Maybe because he was the state's first African American congressman since Reconstruction or maybe it's because he's a Harvard-trained lawyer. A lot of excitement greeted his election. After all, he took over the seat once held by House Majority Leader Hale Boggs and his wife, Lindy Boggs, the mother of ABCNews's Cokie Roberts and venerable lobbyist Tommy Boggs. Jefferson's arrival in Congress in 1991 was another sign of the rise of biracial politics in the South even if the district had been made still blacker to all but ensure the election of an African American.
It's worth checking out the Washington Monthly's story on Jefferson which, for my money, is the definitive.