Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.
FACE TIME: TRIUMPHANT
Remember Christie's first attempt to get Bergen's blue laws off the books? We're sure he was reminded of it when he opened stores for emergency-related shopping in Sandy's wake. Now, he can point to relatively peaceful highways as he makes the case when — if — American Dream opens.
Sheila Oliver – Winner
The long battle over what to do about raising the minimum wage tilts in her favor, with Steve Sweeney agreeing to pursue a legislative, not a constitutional, remedy. Business groups are preparing maximum resistance as they plan to take their case to Christie.
Casinos – Loser
Just what the casinos needed — another reason for gamblers to not show up. Sandy forced casinos to close, and business has roared back at the pace of a glacier receding. And Moody's sees bad news in the cards — it expects casino revenue to drop 25 percent for the next six months.
NJMEP – Winner
Not everyone's post-storm performance was as lacking as that of the utilities. The Manufacturing Extension Program was immediately at work, getting unaffected shops to open their floors for less-fortunate manufacturers, putting them in touch with FEMA and the SBA and pushing to return to normalcy.
Hospitals – Loser
When federal regulators extended a deadline to states to provide details on setting up their insurance exchanges, it marked yet another moment of uncertainty for hospital executives, who need guidance on what the exchange will look like before they can effectively plan for the future.
Gibbons – Winner
Talk about your good hires — the Newark law firm landed Bill Palatucci, best friend to the governor, as special counsel following his departure from Community Education Centers. Already no slouch in being a power player, Gibbons now gets a top GOP adviser on its payroll, as well.
Commuters – Loser
It took two weeks after Hurricane Sandy blew out of town for train service to be restored, but riders were left stranded at stations for long periods, and bus riders were caught in accidents that injured dozens. At least drivers had restrictions on gas sales lifted.