PALIN ON HRC…. One of the more offensive angles to the McCain campaign’s running mate announcement is how breathtakingly cynical it is. As the McCain gang sees it, supporters of Hillary Clinton are driven entirely by gender concerns — the notion that Democrats may have actually liked Hillary for her record and agenda apparently isn’t a consideration — so picking a woman, any woman, even a far-right anti-choice woman, will necessarily drive Democrats to vote Republican.

I suspect this will backfire. No one likes to be played for a fool, and these crass tactics will probably be perceived by Clinton backers as more insulting than anything else.

And yet, in a move that was about as subtle as a sledgehammer, Sarah Palin praised Hillary Clinton during her first appearance on the national stage today, referencing the “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” quote. Before anyone’s fooled, though, keep in mind that Palin is not a Clinton fan.

Newsweek reports that back in March, at a Women and Leadership event held by the mag, Palin’s view of Hillary wasn’t quite as charitable: “She said she felt kind of bad she couldn’t support a woman, but she didn’t like Clinton’s ‘whining.’”

I’m sure that’ll impress Clinton’s most ardent backers, right?

McCain has taken the most patronizing attitude imaginable, and it’s likely to fail. Note to the McCain campaign: we know Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a friend of ours. Senator, Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.