Gov. Bryant fuels popularity with blue-collar conservatism

“OK, you’re like the dog chasing the car,” Bryant said. “Now that you’ve caught it, what are you going to do with it? I said, ‘I’m going to drive it — full throttle.’ ”

That is how Bryant sees himself as he embarks on his second term as governor. He takes the oath of office Tuesday, after winning re-election with 67percent of the vote, the largest general election margin since 1971.

“Phil Bryant is probably as popular a political figure statewide in Mississippi as I have observed in my life,” said Andy Taggart, a Republican lawyer and political historian.