President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are slated as keynote speakers at this year's South by Southwest music and tech festival. In his appearance, the president will focus on new technologies that can make the federal government run more effectively, while Mrs. Obama will be there to tout her Let Girls Learn initiative.
During his Saturday weekly address, Obama gave a few key reasons why he is looking forward to attending the event, but it seems as though what he's most after is avoiding anything in his last months as president that would be a repeat of the kind of costly mistake similar to the initial Healthcare.gov rollout disaster which cost taxpayers billions of dollars and left millions without health coverage:
[W]hile I’m there, I’m going to ask everyone for ideas and technologies that can help update our government and our democracy to be as modern and dynamic as America itself…
It hasn’t always been easy. And we’ve had some bumps along the way… yes, after an initial false start, we’ve made it much easier for tens of millions of Americans to compare and buy health insurance and the peace of mind that goes with it.
The president added that the SXSW festival is all about new and creative ideas to make the world a better place, from "the constant stream of new apps" to "smarter ways to combat climate change."
"That’s what this is all about," he said, "making sure our government of the people and by the people works better for the people in the 21st century."
Obama stated that he isn't going to be like some unnamed others who take the easiest route and make a career out of blaming the government for every problem. No, instead he is siding with the Founding Fathers whom he said "trusted us with the keys to this system of self-government because it’s the best tool we’ve got to settle our differences and solve our collective challenges."
"And it’s only as good as we make it," the president added. "That’s why I’m going to Austin and South by Southwest – to keep asking everyone from all walks of life, working inside or outside of government, to help us make this democracy even stronger."