Forty days before the election, the Examiner is out with its endorsement of John McCain and Sarah Palin. While out of step with liberal San Francisco, the choice reflects the views of the Examiner’s owner, billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz, a prominent Bush backer and champion of other conservative causes. The idea of putting the endorsement from the cover harks back to the days when the Examiner was owned by the Fang family, which ran endorsements on the front page, including James Fang for BART board. The paper’s Republican beliefs have influenced its cover choices in the past — such as the edition the day after the November 2006 election. Nearly every paper lead with the Democrats taking over Congress, but the Examiner buried that story inside and put on the cover the reelection of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a race that wasn’t in any doubt.