Sep 19, 2013
11:43 AM
Connecticut Politics

Sen. Chris Murphy Participates in National Press Club Spelling Bee

Sen. Chris Murphy Participates in National Press Club Spelling Bee

Screenshot of NPC video

Sen. Chris Murphy at the National Press Club's Spelling Bee Wednesday.

At the National Press Club's centennial spelling bee, Sen. Chris Murphy was knocked out in the fourth round.

Murphy, acing words not often heard on the Hill like "serendipitous" and "reminiscent," was eliminated from the competition after incorrectly spelling "practitioner" and "somnambulist." Each contestant gets two strikes before they're out.

The spelling bee-- pitting D.C. journalists against members of Congress-- was last held 100 years ago. Last time the event was held, Congress won, with a representative from Ohio the winner. They did so again after Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) beat out Politico's Deputy White House Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand. 

Other contestants included Reps. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) They faced off against Howard Fineman (Huffington Post), Ed Henry (Fox News), Major Garrett (CBS News), Meredith Shiner (Roll Call), Ashley Southall (New York Times), Karen Tumulty (Washington Post), Kate Nocera (Buzzfeed) and Toby Zakaria (Reuters).

Earlier in the day, the freshman senator tweeted that his son had helped him practice for the evening's event and had him spell "cow" and "bookshelf."

While standing at the podium and expressing his disappointment with Sen. Coons who had just lost, Murphy, who, like other contestants appeared to ghost-write the word with an index finger, misspelled "practitioner" with an misplaced "c" and "t." 

His fatal blow came from the word "somnambulist."

"Could you use an actual word?" Murphy asked the judge, after he was first tasked with spelling it. Murphy replaced and "i" with a "y", and was knocked out of the competition. A few minutes later he was able to tweet his failure and spell the word correctly.

A somnambulist is someone who sleepwalks.

Better luck next century, Senator.


Sen. Chris Murphy Participates in National Press Club Spelling Bee

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