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Arnold Schwarzenegger may be sitting out California’s recall campaign, but Hollywood and other constituencies ought to take a second look at some of their own leaders.

To the Washington and New York media elite, California’s recall process is a political fiasco. It’s expensive, capricious and could easily turn into a nasty habit. No wonder Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn’t want to run for governor: He knows he could be recalled a year from now. If the voters start playing games with “The Terminator,” politics would become even more surreal.

I’d argue that the Eastern elitists ignore the positive elements of the recall process: It energizes a bored electorate. It permits politicians to continue doing the only thing they’re good at — running for office.

In fact, serious thought should be given to extending the recall process to other institutions, such as corporations, government agencies and even movie studios. Consider some potential candidates for recall movements:

Michael Powell: Clumsy and aloof, the FCC chairman has managed to antagonize every side of the deregulation issue. His own commissioners feel he shut off debate. Congress is so pissed off, it’s voted to scale back his proposals, perhaps forcing Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch to sell or swap some of their TV stations. So now Powell’s mentors in the media community also want his scalp. It’s definitely time for a recall.

Jean-Rene Fourtou: The Frenchman who presides over Vivendi has created such a web of confusion in running his so-called “auction” for Universal that no one knows where he stands. Now Fourtou has suddenly revealed he wants $14 billion to $15 billion for his assets, which is more than anyone apparently wants to spend. He’s thus told Marvin Davis to get lost, and denigrated Kirk Kerkorian for offering a puny $11.5 billion. Vivendi’s shareholders, already shocked by the monies dispensed to Jean-Marie Messier, may find themselves without any credible bidders. Time to think about a recall, it seems to me, before Vivendi becomes French toast.

Steve Jobs: The fiercely effective chief of Pixar continues to do everything he can to embarrass the Hollywood establishment. While DreamWorks sinks with “Sinbad,” Pixar mints money with “Finding Nemo.” Mindful that Disney itself is nervous about its inhouse animated projects, Jobs is sticking it to Michael Eisner by re-inventing Pixar’s distribution deal at Disney. The precise terms of Jobs’ proposal have been kept secret, but two elements have emerged: First, Pixar will divert most of the revenue stream to its own coffers, affording Disney a modest distribution fee. Second, the new deal will encompass the two pictures Eisner feels should fall under the old arrangement. Provisions of this sort run counter to every precept of Eisnerian logic, which makes Jobs very happy — and may prompt Eisner to start a recall movement.

Woody Allen: No successful recall effort has ever been launched against a film director, but Woody always liked setting precedents. As his audience continues to narrow, Woody has all but run out of companies willing to distribute his films. In the most illustrious example, Woody released a picture at Sony called “Husbands and Wives” to coincide with his nightmare breakup with Mia Farrow and her myriad offspring. The prospective cast of his first effort at Fox Searchlight illuminates the old cliché that trouble loves company: Robert Downey Jr. will co-star with Winona Ryder. Surely, the prospective insurers already are looking for their aspirin. Will his new distributor shout “recall” even before Woody can say “action”?

Roberto Benigni: Only two individuals have won acting Oscars for films that they also directed, Olivier and Benigni. Had Olivier caught “Pinocchio,” I think he would have disassociated himself from that shared honor. Benigni clearly gives exuberant acceptance speeches, but his directing talents have suffered from ego-arrest. Not only does he face a possible recall, but so does his Oscar.

Frank Pierson: The choice of this venerable and good-spirited filmmaker to become king of the Academy was cheered by its members, but Frank the Benevolent seems to have become Frank the Ferocious. Academy voters facing the upcoming Oscar race wonder whether their invitation lists for dinners or cocktail parties will be scrutinized by the new Oscar police or whether memberships will be canceled because of violations of fuzzy rules. The switch to an earlier date for the Oscar telecast itself seems likely to help the Golden Globes more than the Academy. Is it time for a recall?

Of course, the recall process itself may prove over time to be a specious device. After all, it enables voters, shareholders or other random employees to change their minds — a precept clearly out of sync with the stolid mood of Bush America.