So what’s Connolly’s game plan?

“I’m a very visual person, so I see words so I can spell them out,” he reveals. Connolly’s communications director, George Burke, tells ITK, “Contestants, beware,” because his boss is the real deal.

Burke says Connolly will “hold his own in the spelling bee,” and his spelling prowess is on display even when a bee championship title isn’t on the line. Calling him a “voracious reader” who spots grammatical errors in documents prepared by his staff and in news articles, Burke admits, “I occasionally have to go to the dictionary to determine the meaning of an arcane word he inserts into a statement.”

“All I can say is: [Sen.] Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeLawmakers reintroduce measure to lift Cuba travel restrictions Majority of Senate supports Cuban tourism bill Montana GOP senator: Gianforte 'needs to apologize' MORE [R-Ariz.], look out,” Connolly tells us with a hearty laugh.

Flake, another one of the nine congressional participants in the bee, appears to be taking a much more laid-back approach.

“I’m just going to bee myself,” he said in an email.

Other lawmakers slated to compete include: Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), along with Sens. Chris CoonsChris CoonsDOJ pitches agreements to solve international data warrant woes Overnight Defense: Trump hits back over special counsel | US bombs pro-Assad forces | GOP chairman unveils proposed Pentagon buying reforms Special counsel appointment gets bipartisan praise MORE (D-Del.), Tim KaineTim KaineTim Kaine's son charged with misdemeanor after Trump rally incident Senators move to rein in Trump with new ISIS war bill Kaine: ‘Broken promises’ in Trump budget MORE (D-Va.) and Chris MurphyChris MurphySenate gears up for fight on Trump's 0B Saudi Arabia arms sale Dem rep jokes ‘body slammed’ reporter lucky GOP healthcare plan isn’t in place yet GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (D-Conn.).

But Connolly says the Beltway reporters — including The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, CBS News’ Major Garret, and Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry, among others — are really the ones who will have to start studying their Merriam-Webster dictionaries: “We have to remind our colleagues in the press that there are no copy editors in the spelling bee.”