Truth about Clive: Lambie blows the lid on her former boss
Former Clive Palmer prodigy Jacqui Lambie is thinking what many of us are when it comes to her old boss and his long election campaign.
"Ah Clive. He's obviously passionate, so good luck to him," she told news.com.au.
"I just wish I could get through a footy game on TV every now and then without him giving me the thumbs up though!"
Lambie knows more about the resurgent Clive Palmer than most, being elected under his banner to the Senate to represent Tasmania in the election of 2013.
Back then Palmer's party was called the Palmer United Party (PUP), but the Queenslander billionaire has now morphed into the United Australia Party (UAP) on the back of a huge $50 million advertising campaign.
Lambie entered the Senate in July 2014 but just a few months later she said goodbye to Palmer, sitting as an independent until November 2017 after she was forced out over the dual citizenship Section 44 scandal that saw so many politicians leave parliament.
All these years later there is a real possibility that Palmer, who is running for a Senate spot in Queensland, and Lambie, who is in a tight race for a Senate spot in Tasmania, could very well end up sitting close to each other after in parliament after the May 18 election.
What are her thoughts on her former boss, who has become the dark horse in this campaign?
The pair traded insults back in 2014 after their messy political split, but it appears time heals wounds, at least when it comes to Lambie.
"Look, Clive helped me a lot and there are definitely no grudges, but we got to a point where his views on what was best for Tasmania and mine diverged, so we had to go our own ways," she said of history with Palmer.
"I'm definitely a better leader than a follower, let's put it that way."
Now 48, Lambie is determined to have another crack at making it into the Senate.
Back when she was elected and during her time in Canberra she appealed to voters because she is anti establishment and didn't grow up in the political system.
A former member of the Australian Army, she didn't speak and still doesn't speak like the typical politician from either of the major parties.
It is this authenticity she is hoping will once again appeal to voters come May 18.
"It means the world to me," Lambie said of getting back into the Senate.
"It look me a little while to find my feet and get the lay of the land, but I was starting to get some good results for Tasmanians before I left.
"Of course the deals that I had made were all ignored as soon as I was kicked out of the Senate, so I have some chits to collect when I get back in there.
"In seriousness though, I went into politics to speak for people like me who were being thrown on the rubbish pile and ignored.
"Those people are still being ignored and it kills me to think that no one is fighting for them."
Back in November 2017 when she fronted to inform parliament that she had dual British citizenship because her father was Scottish, Lambie was tearful as she exited a job she loved so much.
At the time the then Attorney-General George Brandis probably summed it up best about her reputation among her colleagues that she gained while in the Senate.
"It will be obvious to you, Senator Lambie, from the spontaneous expression of affection and, may I say, love that has come from all sides of this chamber, the positive effect that you have had upon all of the colleagues who have served with you since you have been elected," he told the Senate.
"The Senate brings together people from all parts of Australia, from all walks of life, from all political philosophies, from all backgrounds, and it is richer for it."
There hasn't been a minute where Lambie has thought about giving up the tough political game after what happened to her.
"No, not for a second," she said.
"You can't keep a good Lambie down, that's not just a line, it's how I was raised.
"Getting disqualified crushed me, even more so my Dad, but when we get knocked down we dust ourselves off and get on with it. Besides, I don't know if Dad would forgive himself if I didn't have another crack.
"But more than that, the job isn't done. I know how hard it is to be at the bottom of the heap, broke and written off and without any hope.
"There are too many people out there that are in that situation right now, and all they get from the pollies are budget cuts and empty promises.
"Someone needs to fight for them, and if I didn't do my very best to get back up there and do something for them I wouldn't be able to look them, or myself, in the eye."
She will head to the polls under the Jacqui Lambie Network, the party she founded after leaving the Palmer United Party.
Lambie joins a long list of Senators, either independent candidates or former major party candidates that have formed their own political parties to contest this election.
Derryn Hinch under the Justice Party banner, former Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi formed the Australian Conservatives, and most recently far right politician Fraser Anning formed the Conservative National Party after leaving One Nation.
All are all set to have candidates run this Senate election.
Throw in the Greens, One Nation and the Shooters, Fisher & Farmers party who have momentum after a strong performance at the recent New South Wales election, and it is a crowded number of candidates not from the major parties that will attempt to enter the Senate.
Tasmania is unique, the first four spots in the half Senate election are likely to go to the Labor and the Liberal Party according to ABC election analyst Antony Green, while the final two spots are up for grabs.
It's likely Lambie will face competition for those two spots by the major parties, Green's Senator Nick McKim, and the dark horse in the race - Independent Craig Garland.
The two major parties aren't preferencing Lambie, so she will have to rely on her strong personal vote and recognition to get back in.
The first thing she says she will do is simply answer the phone, something she says politicians' offices are not doing enough of these days.
She brings up her experience of her son Dylan, who has recovered from an ice drug addiction that she made public in one of her passionate Senate speeches in August, 2015.
Lambie says worried parents who have had no luck with their local MPs when they call and ask for help constantly contact her.
"The worse ones are the parents of ice addicted teenagers and young adults," she said.
"I know the feeling of desperation all too well having lived it myself, but without the Senate office there's nothing I can really do to help them, and no one seems to be listening.
"I speak to people who contact other politicians' offices and it takes eight, nine, ten weeks to get an answer, if they get one at all.
"When you're watching your kid tumble down that path you don't have ten weeks to wait around for a return email or letter.
"But I'm stacking them up ready to name and shame when the time comes."
After she left parliament, Lambie headed straight back to Tasmania and also had an appearance on Channel 10's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here earlier this year.
"My back was a bit worse for wear and I had that bloody great bump on my head, but I pulled up OK," she said of the experience.
"A bit of a massage and I was back on my feet and ready to go."
After that little entree into the reality television world it's time for her to get back to her reality - and for her that is a Senate spot she so desperately wants.
Luke Dennehy is a freelance journalist. Continue the conversation on Twitter @LukeDennehy