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.
“All I can say is: [Sen.] Jeff Flake [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 Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (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.”