Reporters who ask politicians fluff questions like "what's your favorite novel?" rarely get answers like this.

When asked his favorite novel in an interview shown yesterday on the Fox News Channel, Mitt Romney pointed to “Battlefield Earth,” a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. That book was turned into a film by John Travolta, a Scientologist.

A spokesman said later it was one of Mr. Romney’s favorite novels.

“I’m not in favor of his religion by any means,” Mr. Romney, a Mormon, said. “But he wrote a book called ‘Battlefield Earth’ that was a very fun science-fiction book.

No, that isn't true. Battlefield Earth is awful. Nobody reads that book except Scientologists and smartasses who want to giggle at Scientologists, and even they start to cash out by the 7000th page or so.

If we surmise that politicians are always sending coded messages when they talk about books or movies that they like - think Bush carting around Bernard Goldberg's Bias - what's Romney's message? "So, you think Mormonism is weird?"