There was the following sentence in New York Times (December 12) article, titled “Govern in poetry”:
This guy can write and he can speak, but he’s put those talents in a drawer for much of his presidency. In just the last few weeks, though, Obama has shown that his lyrical gifts could still get him off a road leading to yet another mediocre presidency.
Strangely enough neither Cambridge nor Oxford English Dictionary carries “get sb. sth off a road” as an idiom, while GoogleNGram shows that the usage of “get off the road” emerged around 1900, tailed off during 1930 through early 1980, picked up again around 1986 (still low at 0.000000019% emergence level in 2009).
Urban Dictionary defines “get off the road” as:
this phrase is widely used among many of the "nerd" factions, mostly used in conjunction with the popular theatrical line from the movie: Fellowship of the Ring. Getting off the road implies removing oneself from harms (I think this should be “harmful”) way.
Now my question: Is “get sb, sth off the road” accepted as an idiom, or is it just a ‘theatrical term’ meaning removing oneself as Urban Dictionary defines?