Obama returns to a crisis-filled Washington

President-elect Barack Obama flew into Washington this weekend on the wings of hope and into a storm of issues that will challenge his Presidency when he takes office in 15 days.

Obama arrived as his choice for Commerce Secretary stepped aside amid a growing controversy over possible big-rigging in New Mexico. Gov.Bill Richardson stepped aside because of unanswered questions over his role in another "pay for play" scandal stalled the vetting process on his nomination.

But Richardson’s problems pale next to the growing crisis in the Middle East where Israel’s bombing and invasion of Gaza has left hundreds of civilians dead and world opinion split. The situation in Gaza adds yet one more burning issue to a growing crisis list that includes the economy, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the controversy over the appointment of Roland Burris to fill Obama’s Senate seat.