The White House says no one there knew about the Petraeus situation before Wednesday and the president himself was informed Thursday. But if the story had broken a week earlier, those headlines would have overtaken much of the president’s message about the middle class and his work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Who made the decision to wait, and why, is going to be the subject of scrutiny as this scandal continues to unfold…

Petraeus appears to have successfully kept the situation quiet for months, if not longer. He had known for all that time that he was violating the moral and professional code that he cited in his message to CIA employees Friday. And he knew for weeks that the FBI was looking into the situation.

But something made him come forward now.

The larger circumstances of the election and next week’s hearing might be pure coincidences. Members of Congress were this week informed of the situation, and that’s a tried and tested way for information, especially juicy information, to leak out. Add to that their frustration at not being told until now, and the possibilities increase exponentially.