Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama: That's Unexpected?

In case you've been in a cave the last few news cycles, it's been widely reported that the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper, has endorsed Barack Obama.  Typical was this from NPR's Morning Edition:
Newspapers have been making presidential endorsements. Republican John McCain won the backing of his home state's largest paper, The Arizona Republic. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Chicago resident Barack Obama — the first time that paper has endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. And Obama received the backing from another paper you might not expect — the Anchorage Daily News. The state's largest newspaper was not swayed by the fact that McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, is the state's governor.

Over at the Christian Science Monitor's election blog, the headline is, "Anchorage Daily News supports… Obama?"

The newspaper's endorsement of the Democratic candidates can hardly be characterized as unexpected.  The Anchorage Daily News endorsed John Kerry in 2004 and Al Gore in 2000.  It backed Bill Clinton in both 1996 and 1992, and Michael Dukakis in 1988.  Its 1992 endorsement of Clinton began with a familiar theme:

"Change" is about the first word from Bill Clinton's lips at every campaign stop. But Gov. Clinton offers more than just change for change's sake. He offers something this country no longer associates with politicians:

Hope.

As far back as 1976, Time magazine reported:

Unchanged, however, is the paper's willingness to assume unpopular editorial positions; it champions gun control (anathema in Alaska) and stricter environmental protection laws. The Daily News generally supports Democrats and endorsed George McGovern for President in 1972.

That such a newspaper still backs Democrats isn't earth shaking news, despite media efforts to make it appear that way.