ridden it to clinch the fleeting favors

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
The quotation comes from http://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/2017/04/looking-back-looking-forward-0

Quotation: Might she (prime minister May) be about to march her troops back down he (Cameron) hill? Probably not. The post-imperial pride and insecurity that motivated the Brexit vote is not hers to deploy or withdraw at will. She has merely ridden it to clinch the fleeting favors of the tabloids and her own MPs.
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Hi everyone! Does the bold sentence mean as below?

She has merely taken advantage of the post-imperial pride and insecurity to fasten the grip on the favors that would be soon gone.
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You have the general idea, except that I am not certain what you mean by fasten the grip on the favors.

    It's a variation of this meaning of clinch:
    to settle (a matter) decisively:After they clinched the deal they went out to celebrate.
    She is using the imperial pride and insecurity to gain favor with the tabloids and her own MPs. That is, 'clinch' means 'get them for herself.' They are fleeting, in that they are likely to vanish soon, as you say.
     
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