Sen. Tim Kaine has battled it out with journalists before, but never like this.
Standing alongside his fellow lawmakers and journalists from major news organizations including The Huffington Post, Fox News, The Washington Post, Politico and CBS News, Kaine found his victory hinging on one word: “nonpareil.”
Kaine, D-Va., was a participant in the National Press Club’s Centennial Spelling Bee on Wednesday, which pitted nine politicians against nine journalists in the competition of the century -- literally. The last spelling bee between lawmakers and reporters was held in 1913, and one of its attendees was President Woodrow Wilson.
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Kaine won the competition by correctly spelling the championship word “nonpareil,” beating out Politico’s Rebecca Sinderbrand. Kaine said his victory was in honor of the “oppressed, poor male spellers everywhere.”
While Kaine was the winner of the competition, it was the journalists who spelled the most words correctly, edging out the lawmakers 38-36. One of the competing journalists was Huffington Post Editorial Director Howard Fineman, who joked that this spelling bee would “definitely be the first and last time” he does anything like it.
Despite his stunning win, Kaine didn’t let himself get too cocky when it came to spelling bees, praising the kids who compete annually in the National Spelling Bee.
“I can’t even watch that show on TV,” Kaine said. “It makes me too nervous.”
Watch the entirety of the spelling bee in the video below: