Yet the sports-loving folk of Baralt, a hard up and dusty district in Venezuela's western oil belt, seldom see VIPs and urge him to join a local basketball game.
Capriles needs little persuading. Tearing up and down the court, scoring several times and picking himself up after being knocked off his feet, the man who wants to be Venezuela's next president is cheered after his side wins the hour-long game.
"Man, he can really play! That wasn't your usual politician's photo opportunity," says one admiring local, 24-year-old Johan Arismendi, watching from the sidelines.