MANHATTAN — Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to respect President-elect Trump — but keep up the fight for key causes — during a poised, yet emotional, concession speech Wednesday morning.
In her first appearance since losing the presidency in a stunning upset to Republican Donald Trump, Clinton tried to ease the angst her supporters might feel to ensure "a peaceful transfer of power."
"We owe him our open mind and a chance to lead," the former secretary of state told a cheering crowd of supporters at the New Yorker Hotel at 481 Eighth Ave., near West 34th Street.
But she said that even though "this loss hurt ... please, never stop believing that fighting for what's right is what's worth it. It is worth it and so we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives."
Clinton said she recognized her supporters' pain because she also felt it deeply.
"I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it too," Clinton said. "This is painful and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember, this campaign was never about one person or one election," she added.
Many pollsters had predicted a Clinton victory, but the presidency slipped away from the former secretary of state as results rolled in Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Trump claimed victory just before 3 a.m. saying Clinton had conceded to him in a phone call.
She had planned to celebrate her victory at the Jacob Javits Center, but she never came out to address those who had gathered there.
The scene there turned somber as it became increasingly clear that she'd lost.
During her concession about 8 hours hours later, Clinton thanked her family, staff and the army of people across the country who'd in some way helped her campaign.
She focused on specific groups like young people, who she urged not to be discouraged.
She specifically addressed young girls who followed her campaign closely.
“We might not have shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but hopefully someone will, and sooner than we think, now,” Clinton said.
"Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world," she added.