The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Editorial, 2/1/9

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant sat on the hot seat Thursday night as a succession of roasters cracked jokes about his purported aspirations for higher office.

They also gave it to him for his hairdo, his cowboy boots and his ability to find the television cameras, wherever they are.

But you know who the funniest roaster of all was at the Mississippi Press Association’s dinner to raise money for journalism scholarships? Phil Bryant himself.

Bryant hit back hilariously at the head table luminaries when his time came. This is a man with a sharp wit and impeccable comic timing.

It was a fun evening for a good cause before an audience of hundreds of legislators, state officials, lobbyists, newspaper people and assorted others. But it also revealed a lot about Bryant’s political appeal and why, when any serious conversation about Mississippi politics is in the air, he’s generally considered – at the moment at least – the man to beat for governor in 2011.