I came across the phrase “sand off the sharp edges” in the following sentence of Washington Post’s (January 23rd) article titled “Obama’s State of the Union is crucial balancing act.”
“Obama’s senior advisers say he does not intend to shy away from his recent attacks on Congress or of the economic policies promoted by his Republican rivals, although he may sand off the sharp edges he has employed outside the Beltway in recent weeks to make his case.”
Though I guessed “sand off the sharp edge” means “blunt the edge,” I checked the meaning of the phrase on Cambridge, Oxford, Merriam-Webster online dictionaries to make it certain. None of them registers this expression.
However, www.mojosells.com provides definition - The concept of “sanding off the edges” means that you decide to please some people less in order to please others more.
There is no entry of “sand off the sharp edge” or “sand off the edge “in GoogleNgram.
What is the exact meaning of ‘President Obama may sand off the sharp edge he has employed outside the Beltway? Does sharp edge mean straightforward, aggressive, and relentless rhetoric he used before? Is “sand off the sharp edge” relatively modern usage?