"I don't know if a hundred years is the right number. That's a long time."
President George W. Bush when asked about a primary campaign exchange in which Republican candidate John McCain said American troops could be in Iraq for a hundred years
On the U.S. campaign trail, presidential hopefuls spar over the issue of troop withdrawal, with New York Senator Hillary Clinton telling voters at the South Carolina Democratic debate that she would bring troops home within 60 days of her inauguration. Former Sen. John Edwards attacks both Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama for staying mum on the issue of permanent bases in Iraq. Obama responds: "I want to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." In the final Republican debate before Super Tuesday, Arizona Senator John McCain, who supports Bush's Iraq policy, accuses rival Mitt Romney of supporting a strict timetable for withdrawal. All this takes place after the new year begins with a gruesome attack in Baghdad on New Year's Day, where a suicide bomber kills 32 mourners at the funeral of a Shi'a Muslim army officer.