The National Press Club hosted a spelling bee Wednesday night that pitted journalists against members of Congress — to mark the centennial of a similar bee in 1913 attended by President Woodrow Wilson. Spellers were eliminated after they got two words wrong. Here, in reverse order, are the most embarrassing misspellings by the lawmakers.
10. Vacillate. “I’m not sure,” equivocated Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), before screwing it up. (Understandable: Is it two “l”s or two “c”s?)
9. Inadvertent. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). (Likewise — is that last vowel an “a” or an “e”?)
8. Impuissance. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.)
7. Supercilious. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
6. Verisimilitude. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)
5. Somnambulist. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) (Yeah, we know you don’t use it every day, but come on, it’s just like it’s pronounced!)
4. Octogenarian. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)
3. Irreconcilable. Eshoo’s second and out. (Sure, it’s tricky, but you really just had to learn this one in school.)
2. Shenanigans. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) spelled it with a “c,” then tried to explain that as a Mormon, he’s never gotten up to any shenanigans.
1. Hydrangea. Rep. Connolly. Only a guy from Boston would add an “r” at the end.
Sen. Kaine redeemed himself with subsequent words and ultimately won the entire bee with nonpareil.