Clinton supporters to look ahead

DENVER – It was an emotional and bittersweet moment for Sen. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Trump's approval rating stable at 45 percent Kellyanne Conway: 'I think my gender helps me with the president' MORE as she prepared to watch Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBudowsky: Biden or Beto: Where's the beef? Super Tuesday bonanza raises stakes for Dems Whatever happened to nuclear abolition? MORE claim the prize that she and her supporters had fought so hard for.

But there was at least the consolation that her disappointed supporters still believe she will win the Democratic nomination and be elected president in the future.

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“We’re disappointed but we’ve still got to work hard for the ticket,” said Jerry Lundergran, Clinton’s campaign in Kentucky, the state that gave her one of her most lopsided victories in the Democratic primaries.

“But as my mother used to say, there are always better things down the road. She’ll be president someday and we’ll be there to help her.”

Lundergran, a former state legislator who resigned as state Democratic chairman to run the campaign that gave Clinton (D-N.Y.) 295,000 votes and 90 percent of the state’s 61 delegates., spoke to The Hill after Clinton met with the delegation at the Brown Palace Hotel Thursday afternoon.

“Well, you’ve survived,” Clinton told the Kentuckians as they crowded around for a group photograph. “I’m so glad to see all of you and to thank you for all you did for me,” she said, prompting a collective response, “No, thank YOU!”

Clinton urged her supporters to work hard for the Obama-Biden ticket and for Democratic congressional and state and local candidates. “This could be a bellwether year for Democrats from the White House to Capitol Hill to the statehouse,” she said. “We’ve got to win this. We can’t take four more years of what we’ve had.”

Carol Johnson Smith, a volunteer who works for the United Auto Workers at a Ford plant in Louisville  said afterwards “Our disappointment will never be over.” Another woman in the group said simply, “I’m crushed.”