Leaving it all on the line


There are many things Henrique Capriles is, but there are several he is not.

Capriles is not the most intelligent of politicians. Others certainly have a greater facility for gab. He is not the most experienced, nor is he the most cunning.

None of that matters. What Capriles has shown us in the past weeks, and in the past months, is that nobody works harder.

We’ve seen this man grind himself to the ground crisscrossing the country. We’ve seen him throwing himself into adoring crowds, wading into impoverished neighborhoods, listening attentively to stories of murder and rape, and hearing how everybody and their mother (me included) preaches he should do things this or that way. We’ve heard him strain his vocal chords until it becomes painful to hear him.

We’ve seen him go from impossible circumstances to where we are now. He’s given himself a shot, and we’ve seen him do it with humility and class, those rarest of qualities in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela.

In the end, all we have is a young man barely into middle age, facing all kinds of obstacles and attacks, and for what? Fame? He has it. Power? It remains elusive. Money? Been there, done that.

What we are left with, when we take away the advisors, the masses, the hangers-ons and the naysayers, is a son. A public servant. A believer. A hard worker.

I was talking to some middle-aged Chilean ladies the other day, and they were asking me about Capriles as if he was Brad Pitt. There is an aura to him, and it’s hard to explain, so let’s just leave it at that. It’s simply … charisma.

Capriles is a star alright, but the right kind. His charisma is born out of hard work, sweat, and tears. Out of making lemonade out of life’s lemons.

You have to admire him for that.