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Mamaroneck Students' State of the Union Assignment

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Joe Liberti's AP American Government and Politics students may be busy with mid-term exams this week, but he has asked them to watch Tuesday's State of the Union Address so they can discuss it in class next week.

Next week, students will compare the vision President Barack Obama lays out with that of the candidates for the Republican nomination. Earlier this month, 64 of his students heard the Republican vision first-hand during a field trip to New Hampshire for the primary, where they worked on one of four Republican campaigns.

"Now that they're really engaged in the primary process , it will make for interesting discussion to sort of compare the visions laid out by the leading Republican campaigns and Obama's tonight," said Liberti, who organized the New Hampshire Primary trip.

Liberti, who teachers three sections of AP American Government and Politics and Global History, planned to hold a watching party with his students, but the president's address happens to fall on mid-term week, making it too much of a scheduling conflict.

"I think tonight is about creating a vision that he is going to try to run on," Liberti said Tuesday. "He's in a more challenging rhetorical position, given that he's president. On the one hand, he's a symbol for the whole United States. Yet, clearly, he's also representing the Democratic Party getting ready for the general election. So he's going to have to walk that fine line."

Students will also be discussing the Jan. 31 Florida primary in class next week, giving them another look at the Republican candidates' vision.

Check back with The Daily Mamaroneck for local reactions to the State of the Union Address Tuesday night.

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