Fletcher McClellan

Fletcher McClellan

Opinion contributor Fletcher McClellan is a political science professor at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa. His work appears biweekly on the Capital-Star’s Commentary Page. Readers may email him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @mcclelef.

Pennsylvania Capitol Building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

For Shapiro, lawmakers a budget season full of surprises | Fletcher McClellan

By: - July 7, 2023

A debate over school vouchers was a test of the Democratic governor's leadership style.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he makes a visit to the Cuban restaurant Versailles after he appeared for his arraignment on June 13, 2023, in Miami. Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges including possession of national security documents after leaving office, obstruction, and making false statements. (Photo by Alon Skuy/Getty Images)

What was Trump’s motive for keeping those classified documents? | Fletcher McClellan

By: - June 27, 2023

Here are four theories, ranging in intent from innocuous to devious.

The U.S. Capitol Building on June 1, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Was the debt ceiling compromise a good deal? And for whom? | Fletcher McClellan

By: - June 7, 2023

Inside the Beltway, a manufactured crisis ended. For the poor, the climate, and students, real-life crises just got worse.


The COVID emergency is over. What — if anything — did we learn? | Fletcher McClellan

By: - May 22, 2023

Last week President Joe Biden announced the end of the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, first declared by the administration of President Donald Trump in early 2020.  Biden’s order – a Congressional mandate he signed into law in April – marks the beginning of a transition to regular health providers and insurance for COVID-19 […]

Flag of Pennsylvania and LGBT. Pennsylvania and LGBT Mixed Flag waving in wind. 3d rendering.

The time for dignity rights in Pennsylvania has come | Fletcher McClellan

By: - May 2, 2023

Twenty-one states have constitutional or legal provisions that prohibit discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ+ status. Pa. is not one of them


Kamala Harris in Africa: High stakes for the U.S. and for her | Fletcher McClellan

By: - April 4, 2023

Belatedly, Africa has become a major area of concern for the Biden administration.

Pa. Gov. Josh Shapiro delivers his first budget address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, 3/7/23 (Photo by Amanda Mustard for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star).

Shapiro, his budget, and the politics of pragmatic progressivism | Fletcher McClellan

By: - March 15, 2023

After years of performative politics, it was reassuring to hear a governor address the real issues facing real people.

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis at a news conference at Pinellas County schools, Aug. 11, 2021. (Credit: Gov. DeSantis Facebook/The Florida Phoenix).

The 2024 presidential campaign preview you didn’t know you needed | Fletcher McClellan

By: - February 16, 2023

In the battle of ideas, will voters put the culture wars or the economy first?

The south Portico of the White House

Is this the worst job in Washington? | Fletcher McClellan

By: - February 2, 2023

The news that Ronald Klain, White House Chief of Staff to President Joe Biden, is stepping down after two years in the job provides an occasion to examine the “second most powerful” position in the U.S. government.

Pennsylvania Capitol Building. May 24, 2022. Harrisburg, Pa. (Photo by Amanda Berg, for the Capital-Star).

The legislative leadership shuffles in Harrisburg and D.C: Will they matter? | Fletcher McClellan

By: - January 18, 2023

Yes, the changes were historic. Will they result in changes in governance? That's an open question.


Let us now praise Tom Wolf, the political scientist who did good | Fletcher McClellan

By: - January 4, 2023

The outgoing Democratic governor reestablished politics in Pennsylvania as the art of the possible.


The best — and worst of times — a tale of two Pa. transitions | Fletcher McClellan

By: - December 22, 2022

The transition of power in the executive branch appears to be going off without a hitch. In the state House? Not so much.