IMAGINE if Jacqui Lambie fought for Tasmania with all the gusto she's using to battle Clive Palmer.
Or if instead of trying to prevent women from wearing niqabs, she pushed for more investment and jobs in the North-West.
There is no doubt that Senator Lambie is a passionate Tasmanian and keen to help her former comrades in the Australian Defence Force.
But bad advice, picking the wrong fights and occasionally an appalling choice of words leave her as the butt of national jokes and a poor representative of the state.
This need not be the case for much longer.
If, as seems likely, Senator Lambie leaves the Palmer United Party, then she will have a unique opportunity to get tangible benefits flowing to Tasmania, and the struggling North-West.
At the moment, her political lot is thrown in with a Queensland mining magnate who has a penchant for making a lot of noise before letting legislation through for a pittance in return.
For all his staging and anti-politics rhetoric, Clive Palmer's actual achievements in Parliament have been scant, to the point where the government can safely ignore his bluster.
Senator Lambie is made of sterner stuff. She just needs to be more strategic.
Two prominent figures in public life reflect the options ahead for an independent Jacqui Lambie - Pauline Hanson and Brian Harradine.
Once Pauline Hanson was cut loose from the Liberals, she became a pariah, albeit with a hard core of fellow travellers around her.
Ms Hanson started the anti-immigration One Nation Party, and had her moment in the sun, winning 11 seats at the Queensland election in 1998.
But the constant spouting of offensive views and an inability to form sensible policies meant the party was cornered and cut off by the mainstream, and quickly fizzled into insignificance - a brief but memorable footnote in Australian political history.
Fellow conservative Brian Harradine went a different way after being expelled by Labor, and managed to last 30 years in the Senate - longer than any independent ever has.
He was a thorn in the side of both major parties, and managed to use his crucial vote to leverage major concessions for Tasmania in return for his vote.
Andrew Wilkie showed similar nous in attracting Commonwealth cash to the South in negotiating with Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard when both were clambering for government in 2010.
So Senator Lambie can convince herself she's a victim, and continue to shoot from the lip at any target she can find, or get down to brass tacks and actually get things done.
The federal budget has not yet passed Parliament, six long months after it was handed down.
Imagine what Messrs Abbott and Hockey are prepared to concede to change that.
To get there, Senator Lambie should talk a lot more about jobs and education, and a lot less intolerant nonsense about the dangers of niqabs - which, it must be said, are rarely sighted in Burnie.
It would also means listening to a few more hardheads and a few less zealots.
Senator Lambie has all the makings of an ruthless advocate for her state - she just needs to start punching for the right causes.