No matter what your politics or who you voted for, it is incumbent upon every American to pause today and celebrate the peaceful transfer of power, and to reflect on the indisputable fact that the United States of America is a new and better place than it was yesterday. Not better because of different policies or the redirection of political values, but better because in its election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land, the wisdom of the American people to reject barriers to equality has in one symbolic swoop restored our beloved country to its rightful place as a beacon of hope in the world.

It requires little intellectual effort to draw parallels between David Archuleta and Barack Obama. They have both invited us to reject a certain modern cynicism that at times feels all but required in order to process the almost ubiquitous lack of integrity that seems to plague contemporary business, politics, and culture. They have asked us us to set aside our lowered expectations, to transcend our predictions of limitation, and to give ourselves permission to raise our gaze and dream again. They have asked us to hope.

I choose to believe that the full preview of David’s first album having become public virtually simultaneously to the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States is one of those coincidences that has the resonance of providence. Both men seem chosen, born to do the work in the world that they have set their paths upon. We all know that David Archuleta is much more than just a singer, and it must be acknowledged that Barack Obama is much more than just a politician. Both are leaders. Leaders who I am proud and grateful this day to follow.