Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.
FACE TIME: BORN TO RUN
A lot of pundits predicted Christie would walk away at the end of his term to seriously pursue the presidency in 2016. But popularity is a terrible thing to waste, especially when Christie is better liked than Santa Claus in a shopping mall. He should be a shoo-in next year.
Red Bulls – WINNER
The team hasn't met all the goals Harrison had hoped for when the stadium was built, but the prospect of a new franchise in Queens, N.Y., would kick-start a rivalry that could further improve box-office performance and drum up interest in the sport outside of the immediate area.
Bill Akers – LOSER
Even the Seaside Heights mayor admitted that his hope of keeping the partially submerged roller coaster in the water "was not the brightest comment," but it would have been a fitting symbol for the state as it aims to rebuild the coastal region following the devastation of Sandy.
Atlantic City – WINNER
No, you can't overlook the continued dismal performance of the casinos, but the city got more than 10,000 people to attend a charity hockey game at Boardwalk Hall — the only pro hockey on the East Coast this season — and the airport is moving ahead on its international expansion plans.
Cory Booker – LOSER
He's all wishy-washy on whether he'll seek the governorship, and two polls last week gave him good reason for pause: The election is a year off, but the polls found Christie is the super mayor's kryptonite by a double-digit margin. Then, of course, there was the near riot at city hall.
Small retailers – WINNER
"Gray Thursday" may be the property of the malls and big boxes, but it's helped mom and pop get a toehold in Black Friday. Combined with Small Business Saturday, independent retailers got a bigger-than-expected share of early Christmas shopping, hopefully setting the stage for a strong finish.
Board of Public Utilities – LOSER
Not only is the BPU caught in another fight between residents and utilities, it's now fending off legislative pressure over the glacial pace with which it's developed regulations for an offshore wind credit program. Suddenly, the promise of leading the nation on wind energy is merely hot air.