With marathon flap, NYC mayor tries for inspiration but ends up offending storm-stricken city

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NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to sell the New York City Marathon as a symbolic victory for the city after a devastating storm, invoking two of the biggest symbols of them all — Rudy Giuliani and 9/11.

The former mayor, Bloomberg said, made the right decision by holding the marathon less than two months after the 2001 terror attacks: “It pulled people together, and we have to find some ways to express ourselves and show our solidarity with each other.”

Then, he kept talking.

“You have to keep going and doing things, and you can grieve, you can cry and you can laugh all at the same time,” he said.

And once again, the city cringed, hearing another false note that renewed familiar criticism that New York’s billionaire businessman mayor is tone-deaf to suffering in a crisis. By the time the mayor changed course three hours later Friday and called off the world’s largest marathon, he had already offended a passel of flood-weary New Yorkers.

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