Picks and Pans Review: In Focus

updated 12/11/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/11/1995 01:00AM

>SHOT TALK

P.F. BENTLEY, 43, HAS BEEN CHRONICLING history with his camera ever since he was 18. In the years that have followed, the resident of Stinson Beach, Calif., has traveled an average of 100,000 miles each year. Bentley has covered uprisings in Haiti, Panama and El Salvador, and he has followed high-profile pols on the road to Washington. "It beats having a real job," he says. "I'd go nuts sitting in some office all day." So, how does he view his subjects? Here are some Bentley observations:

Newt Gingrich: "He's really just an average American with an interesting day job."

Bill Clinton: "Covering his campaign in 1992 was more thrilling than an amusement park. The highlight was walking around the French Quarter in New Orleans one night after sneaking out of the hotel without the press pool and having him show me the places he used to hang out."

Al Gore: "You know all the 'How stiff is Al Gore' jokes, like 'How do you tell the difference between Al Gore and a secret service agent? Gore is the stiff one.' Wrong! He has a biting wit and absolutely no airs."

Bob Dole: "Another funny guy, believe it or not; he loves a good joke. He's also very vigorous. Like the Energizer bunny. He just keeps going and going and going. You can't stop him."

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