a powerful, if lame-duck, lawmaker

GoodTaste

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Does "a powerful, if lame-duck, lawmaker" mean "a powerful, but possibly being lame-duck, lawmaker"?

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Mr. Corker’s comments capped a remarkable day of sulfurous insults between the president and the Tennessee senator — a powerful, if lame-duck, lawmaker, whose support will be critical to the president on tax reform and the fate of the Iran nuclear deal.

Source: NYTimes
 

SoothingDave

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Senator Corker is not running for re-election. He is retiring. Thus he is a kind of lame duck. There is no "possibly" about it. He doesn't have to face voters again and will do and say whatever he likes until his term ends.
 

Barb_D

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Usually a "lame duck" is seen as less powerful because people are no longer trying to gain your favor and you are not as influential because you don't have known power in the future.

This means "even though he is a lame duck, he is still powerful."

The benefit of being a lame duck, as Dave says, is that you can say whatever you want and not have to worry about making people angry.
 
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