Senator, what do you see as the gravest long-term threat to the U.S. economy?” That was the first question we put to John McCain when he sat down for an interview with Fortune on a sunny afternoon in June. The moment felt charged. Hillary Clinton had finally conceded to Barack Obama, and now the contest for the highest office in the land was down to two sparkling finalists – „the most impressive choice America has had for a very long time,” The Economist observed from overseas. Both were long shots when all this began. Each prevailed despite deep differences with key blocs in their party bases. Both promised change.