Obama did an artful job of creating an image of someone divorced from the nitty-gritty of hardball, brass-knuckled politics.
The dramatic popularization of a phrase like “nitty-gritty” demonstrates that language is always changing across social contexts.
Webb was never wild about some of the nitty-gritty aspects of elected office and was not a very assiduous fundraiser.
"basic facts," 1961, knitty-gritty, American English, said to have been chiefly used by black jazz musicians, perhaps ultimately from nit and grits "finely ground corn." As an adjective from 1966.