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by David Bauder

New York — QVC is traveling to Washington to mark President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration this month _ and is bringing along plenty of coins, stamps, jewelry and even a small handbag to sell.

The retail network has already sold more than 100,000 items related to Obama’s election and sees the inauguration as an opportunity to reach far beyond the group of people regularly interested in political collectibles.

“Frankly, if we were not at the inauguration, we would feel like we were not doing our job,” said Doug Rose, vice president of multichannel programming for the retail giant, which is available in 94 million American homes and had sales totaling $7.4 billion in 2007.

QVC will show portions of the parade and conduct interviews with spectators, then air live on the night of Jan. 20 from the Creative Coalition’s inaugural ball. Host Leah Williams will be decked out in an inaugural gown.

Obama’s inauguration has attracted plenty of interest from TV networks, not only the traditional broadcast and cable news outlets, but specialized venues such as BET and Nickelodeon that don’t normally pay attention to live political events.

“We’re trying to give the audience a flavor of what the event is like, from the event,” Rose said. “We will try to give them a sense of the electricity in the air.”

Among the items QVC has been selling since the election are a Barack Obama stamp collection, with stamps from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Grenada, St. Vincent and The Grenadines ($38.88). One set has an Obama-Biden half dollar coin and a 1939 stamp depicting George Washington taking the first oath of office ($23.75). An Obama throw blanket is marked down from $41 to $36.84.

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