Add this, from Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum, to the list of Important Observations Made at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner:

…Obama might be forgiven a small indulgence; I can’t yet decide whether it’s endearing or annoying. Like Red Skelton, the president laughs at his own jokes. He laughs softly, so softly that in a crowded ballroom you can hardly hear him. And he smiles that really radiant smile that looks like a perfect packet of Chiclets. He is typically so serious that his laughter seems slightly subversive, as if he can’t quite believe he has just delivered himself of the edgy one-liner he has. So I’m not willing to complain about this trait just yet.


Still, Obama might want to think about it. Politicians are long past help when they start believing their own press releases. Laughing at one’s own jokes may well be an early warning sign worth watching.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.