WASHINGTON - The raging controversies over sexual misconduct involving two prominent political figures is taking center stage, but in the case of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Senate candidate Roy Moore (R-Ala.), the question is: "What were they thinking?"
"Now, they are being honest about being dishonest," said clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Rosenberg, CEO of PsychologicalHealingCenter.com, on "The Final 5."
"Unless you have a characterological transformation, then your apologies don't mean much other than trying to take the slate and wipe it clean, and nothing changes internally," she said.
While Moore has denied charges of sexual misconduct levied by several women in Alabama, Franken's transgressions came to light in the form of a photo. Los Angeles-based radio host LeeannTweeden released the image on Thursday when she accused the former comedian of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour, before he was elected to the Senate. Franken issued an apology, though he said his recollection is different from Tweeden's account. Franken has also publicly backed calls for a Senate ethics investigation into his conduct.
"It takes some kind of better character to say, 'Okay, investigate me, do what you need to do,'" said Rosenberg.
Other public figures have been thrust into the spotlight amid allegations of sexual improprieties.
"It depends on the consciousness where they are coming from. If they are doing it from the consciousness of repair, that's one thing. If they are doing from the consciousness of hiding and whitewashing, different results come from that," Rosenberg said.
As for the myriad accusations against actor Kevin Spacey, his public apology provided an opportunity for him to openly identify himself as a gay man, which outraged many in the LGBTQ community. Rosenberg said she understood the concerns.
"They're authentic. They don't like inauthenticity. Nobody does," she said. "When people are scurrying this way or that way, in their defense mechanisms, they are going to say -- look yellow on Monday, and blue on Tuesday, and there is going to be a lack of authenticity and honesty."