NEW JERSEY 101.5

Republican Gov. Chris Christie's landslide victory over Democratic State Sen. Barbara Buono didn't surprise many people, but this might - State Sen. President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat, admitted Christie was pretty much invincible.

Governor's Office, Tim Larsen

"I didn't think anybody could beat Chris Christie," conceded Sweeney in a one-on-one interview in his Statehouse office. "He did a good job during the storm (Superstorm Sandy). People saw him willing not to let partisan politics get in the way of embracing the president to ensure that his state got the resources that they needed."

According to Sweeney, Buono ran the best possible campaign under the circumstances, but she ran into a buzz saw in the popular Christie who saw his poll numbers skyrocket after Sandy.

"That was a game-changer," said Sweeney. "That's when people look at skills and leadership skills. I think a lot of people respected him for his handling of the storm."

Despite fighting and campaigning as tirelessly as she did, Sweeney said Buono had something else working against her.

"She was up against a national figure," said Sweeney. "Christie's someone that's actually being talked about as the front-runner in the Republican Party for President. You don't get that kind of discussion unless you're pretty gifted. Chris Christie is a smart guy. I disagree with him on a whole lot of issues, but you can't not recognize the guy has great ability when it comes to communicating."