Somebody programmed Hillary to laugh whenever she's asked a difficult question that she'd rather not respond to. Is it her most glaring vulnerability?
Friends say the cackle is her way of deflecting aggressive questioning. It may also be a sign of nervousness over Iowa, where she is now running second to Barak Obama, according to one weekend poll.
Hillary Clinton still leads comfortably in the national polls over her closest Democratic rivals – Mr Obama and John Edwards. But Iowa is the first bellwether state in the race, where the first major event in the nomination process occurs in early January followed immediately by the New Hampshire primary.
Defeat in Iowa would be a serious blow and may explain why Clinton is using humour to deflect criticism rather than the withering ripostes she is known for.
Mrs Clinton's friends say she has a terrific sense of humour. But her sarcastic tendencies do not go down well with Mid Western voters. So she has turned to laughter. When attacked about her many flip-flops – she voted for war in Iraq but now opposes it and she opposed universal healthcare but now wants it – she now bursts out laughing.
Conservative radio hosts routinely play Hillary Clinton's "cackle" on their radio shows and her enemy Dick Morris says it is "loud, inappropriate, and mirthless... a scary sound that was somewhere between a cackle and a screech."
The cackle so grating to the ears, so obviously contrived, so condescending, and such an obvious evasion that I think that it makes her easily beatable next year. It's one reason why I'm hoping that she wins the Democratic nomination. She has a very cold and brittle personality and when she tries to pretend she's human, it comes out as obviously contrived.