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

What's that red mark on the governor's face? Maybe it's from Democrats' backhanded rejection of his minimum wage compromise. How Christie handles this issue will be critical in proving to business owners that he can still be their champion for the next four years.


Minimum-wage earners – Winner
It may not be the increase they want, but low-wage workers have to be pleased that at least Christie and the Democrats agree that a raise is in order. How long they have to wait will probably depend on when the Legislature is able to put the issue before voters.

Casinos – Loser
This is being written ahead of the Super Bowl, so we suppose the biggest loser will be either the 49ers or Ravens. But the sting was definitely felt in Atlantic City, as foot-dragging and a lawsuit have continued to prevent casinos from taking bets on the big game.

Barbara Buono – Winner
After pleading, cajoling, and begging everyone from Richard Codey to Steve Sweeney to run, Democrats are going with Buono, the only one brave enough to challenge the governor in November. But a look at the polls has us wondering how she'll look with Christie's footprints all over her.

Voters – Loser
No matter who wins the election, voters, the media and other bystanders are going to be robbed of a Christie/Sweeney showdown that would have been one for the ages. Not since Lennox Lewis KO'd Mike Tyson has there been a heavyweight match quite like this one had the promise of becoming.

AshBritt – Winner
Despite rates that reportedly are double what competitors listed in their bids, the influential firm got another major Sandy contract — after Christie awarded the Florida company a $100 million no-bid contract to clean roads and waterways. It pays to have friends in high places.

Cory Booker – Loser
The YouTube governor rarely makes social media missteps. Not so with the Twitter mayor, who took to his account to lambaste a Star-Ledger reporter who Booker felt mischaracterized his stance on gun control. But when the reporter responded, Booker went oddly silent.

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