We've still got a lot of work to do. We're sort of halfway through the surge, in a sense, and will be going back to pre-surge levels over the course of the next year. Now, where exactly we'll end up a year from now is going to be based on recommendations from General Petraeus and the chiefs, and the President will make his decision as to what he thinks is appropriate. But I am fairly confident that we'll have Iran in a good place where we'll be able to look back on it and say that was the right decision, it was a sound decision to go into Iraq , that -- I meant Iraq earlier -- did I say Iran ?
Q Yes, sir --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: -- that we have, in fact, achieved our objective in terms of having a self-governing Iraq that's capable for the most part of defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East , and a nation that will be a positive force and influence, if you will, in the future in terms of events and developments in that part of the world. I think it will be a major success story.
Q Speaking of the history in Iraq , there's been a debate recently on the buildup to the vote for us to go to war, and you obviously were very intimately involved in that. Karl Rove has talked about, listen, Democrats -- and Daschle -- they wanted a speedy vote, before the elections, for the war. And Daschle has said, well, it's nonsense, they're trying to rewrite history. What is your recollection of what was happening? Were they -- were Democrats pushing for a quick vote on the war before the election?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to get into that. I, frankly, I've heard a little bit of the argument and I don't understand it. (Laughter.)
Q I'm sorry, what do you mean by that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, I thought we proceeded in an orderly fashion. But I have not gone back and looked at that. I don't -- it's not clear to me what the issue is that's being debated there.
Q The issue is whether the White House was pushing, or Democrats were pushing.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I thought we had approached it on a fairly bipartisan basis, and that was reflected in the vote. And we also went through a process with respect to intelligence matters, work at the United Nations seeking resolutions from the U.N. Security Council that applied to the situation. But in terms of, you know, we were pushing, or the Democrats were pushing, that's not -- I'd have to go back and do a lot of research to have an opinion on that.
Q Mr. Vice President , this was so nice of you. Speaking of 2009, is this it for public service for you, or --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: This was not planned, so I thought I was through when I left the Congress --
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think it has been interesting, and partly it's been interesting because I didn't write a book. (Laughter.) I might not have this job if I'd written a book about the last one.
Q Do you think you'll probably live in Wyoming or live in the Washington area?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Oh, probably both. We've got a home in Jackson we'll keep and we're building a house out here in McLean now. We have a lot out there we bought 10 years ago and we're now about -- don't put that in the paper; I don't want people picketing the lot. (Laughter.) No, we'll keep -- the kids are all here, grandkids are here, and so forth. So even if I move, my wife wouldn't.
Q When you finally get your Christmas break, what will you be doing after you're done with your party?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We'll go back the Jackson , go to Wyoming for Christmas.
SOURCE White House Press Office