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Winners/Losers

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Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.

FACE TIME: GIDDY

Like a homely schoolgirl with a hungry heart pining for the dreamy jock's attention, Christie has long yearned for his rock idol's acknowledgement. Springsteen's human touch–a hug and phone call–left the governor weeping for joy.

Bob Menendez – WINNER
He coasted to victory to retain his U.S. Senate seat, batting back Joe Kyrillos, and already has photo fodder for his next campaign from the president's post-Sandy tour of the state. Now the newly emboldened politician can return to Washington, D.C., savoring a larger Democratic majority in the Senate and Obama still in the White House.

Judges – LOSER
Five months after the state Supreme Court protected their own wallets by exempting judges and justices from pension reform, state voters got revenge last week, paving the way for the Legislature to impose higher contributions on the bench. Justice served.

Thomas Kean Sr. – WINNER
Everyone seemed to support the $750 million higher ed bond referendum, but Kean was all that was needed. The beloved former governor's sincerity and passion for the measure easily made him the most effective asset in a well-financed PR campaign.

JCP&L – LOSER
What black cat crossed this utility's path? Whether it's bad luck or something else, JCP&L always seems to be playing catchup when the lights go out. Sure, the governor came to JCP&L's defense but that likely won't be enough to short circuit the rage of residents and local officials demanding better performance.

Cory Booker – WINNER
In April, he saved neighbors from a fire. Last week, Booker was back in hero mode taking to Twitter to invite Sandy victims to warm up in his house. Meanwhile, Booker himself was enjoying the warm glow of the national spotlight, congratulating his fellow Democrats as part of NBC's election coverage.

Post-storm scammers – LOSER
Days after Sandy, the Attorney General had received 1,200 consumer complaints, mostly alleging price gouging. Home repair scams are expected to be next. Unscrupulous people preying on storm victims are the worst losers of all.

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