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Obama concedes Feb. 2 to "Lost"

The president of the United States apparently feels he needs the "Lost" voting block and will therefore not schedule his State of the Union Address the same night ABC had planned to air the two-hour season debut of the second most convoluted serialized drama in the history of TV.

"I don't foresee a scenario in which millions of people who hope to finally get some conclusion with 'Lost' are preempted by the president," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at Friday's White House press briefing.

"You can quote a senior administration official," he added.

This, in response to not one, not two, but three questions about the brewing President Obama/"Lost" face-off that were asked Friday at the briefing by various reporters in the employ of ABC who apparently lack the gene for embarrassment.

"Lost" fanatics had their undies in a bunch Wednesday over news that the White House might push back the president's SOTU address to Feb. 2, in order to be able to use a freshly-signed health care reform law as an audio-visual aid during the speech.

Unless you've been living under a flat rock you've seen ABC hammering home the point recently that Feb 2 is the day the intensely weird drama series returns for its final (thank you, god) season and that all of our many pressing questions from last season''s finale will finally be answered.

(Yes, 'Twin Peaks' is still the most convoluted TV series -- not coincidentally, it also aired on ABC -- though the "Lost" writers still have one more season to catch up, and we have enormous confidence in their ability to gum up the storyline in ways the "Twin Peaks" gang didn't even dare to dream.)

Gibbs's aforementioned gag was in response to a question asked by ABC Radio reporter Ann Compton, according to press reports about the gaggle.

Later, another ABC reporter asked whether the Feb 2 SOTU idea was really most sincerely dead, according to HuffingtonPost.

Gibbs said yes, adding he "loves that all of a sudden ABC is asking [questions] on behalf of ABC."

"How about on behalf of the Dharma Initiative?" ABC's White House correspondent Jake Tapper cracked -- no doubt convulsing "Lost"-ies in laughter. As for the rest of you -- keep your eye on the prize: your long nightmare will soon be over.

"Lost" producers were characteristically humble about the scheduling victory.

"OBAMA BACKED DOWN!!!! Groundhog Day is OURS!!!!!!!, " Damon Lindelof tweeted when news of Gibb's comments got out.

"No State of the Union conflict with LOST! We go Feb. 2!", chimed in Carlton Cuse.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  January 8, 2010; 2:43 PM ET
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