President Obama’s SXSW Interactive keynote address on Friday started late but was worth the wait, resulting in a fascinating conversation with Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith. President Obama came to South by Southwest Interactive not to to feast on Austin’s delicious tacos with the mayor, but also to urge attendees to get involved with helping the government use technology to solve problems. He spoke of hiring a “SWAT team” to overhaul Healthcare.gov after that disastrous launch, for example, and of a new initiative to help low-income families afford diapers. Obama concluded by telling the audience that whatever one’s particular passion or concern was, “We need you.”
Smith didn’t lob softballs all afternoon, either, pressing Obama on issues like Internet access for underserved communities and the raging debate currently going on over encryption and whether the government can order private companies to break it. The full video is embedded below (start at around 39 minutes).