He may be leader of the free world, but President Clinton doesn’t deserve an Oscar.

That’s apparently the view of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the wake of the Democrats’ party Monday night on the Par lot. During the soiree, California Gov. Gray Davis presented the president with a replica statuette as cameras captured the moment.

But the Acad wasn’t in a lighthearted mood on Tuesday, issuing a pointed statement chiding Par and the event organizers for appropriating the Oscar image.

Pol mix nixed

“Both in its bylaws and in 72 years’ worth of careful practice, the Academy is resolutely non-political,” said Acad prexy Robert Rehme. “Our understanding is that someone on the Paramount lot gave a fiberglass prop statuette to the governor, who was looking for a light note on which to introduce the president. Unfortunately, the prop looks to have been an awfully accurate counterfeit.”

A Par spokesperson said the Davis camp cooked up the stunt. The Acad said that even if it had been notified ahead of time, it still would have likely given a thumbs-down to the presentation.

After all, Rehme added, “We want to make sure the public understands that the motion picture industry’s highest accolade can be awarded … only for accomplishments relating to motion pictures.”