JAMES TARANTO: Great Orator Gaffes Again: One comment makes him akin to Akin.

“The odds of people dying in a terrorist attack obviously are still a lot lower than in a car accident, unfortunately,” President Obama told NBC’s Jay Leno last night.

Wait, “unfortunately”? Does the president really wish more Americans were killed in terrorist attacks? Indeed, orders of magnitude more, since nationwide traffic fatalities typically run between 30,000 and 50,000 a year?

Of course not. Obviously when he deployed that adverb he was thinking of the unfortunate souls killed in car accidents, not the victims of terrorism. He simply misspoke–just as Todd Akin did last year when he used the unfortunate phrase “legitimate rape.” But for some reason, the World’s Greatest Orator and the most powerful man in the world is held to lower standards of verbal exactitude than a lowly congressman from Missouri.

That wasn’t Obama’s only error last night on “The Tonight Show.” He also got flummoxed by geography: “The Panama [Canal] is being widened so that these big supertankers can come in. Now, that will be finished in 2015. If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf–places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida–if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else.”

There are major ports along the Gulf of Mexico, most notably the Port of South Louisiana and the Port of Houston. But Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville are all on the Atlantic coast.

Read the whole thing. Why does he get a pass? Because he’s a black Democrat, of course.