Color me skeptical.
California Yankee has the story:
General Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command from June 2000 until he retired in 2003, led American and Coalition troops in two strategically unprecedented campaigns in two years – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.General Franks hails from Oklahoma, but considers Texas his home state.
Franks would boost Republican prospects in the South and provide an articulate spokesman for winning the global war against Islamist extremism and a counter to the Democrats' current defeatism.
Among the leading contenders, both Rudy Giuliani (to a large degree) and Mitt Romney (to a smaller degree) may need to shore up support in the 'southern conservative' demographic. For someone like Fred Thompson -- himself a southern conservative -- Franks might offer little appeal.
And as far as selecting a general, as opposed to a traditional politician... what effect might that have? It might make the election more of a referendum on Iraq than it would otherwise be.
One thing that might work in favor: the list of possible Republican vice presidential contenders seems like it might be a short one in 2008. First off, since it will be an outsider year, Senators may not make it onto the list -- and even if the nominee might consider a Senator, there are relatively few southern conservatives who seem like likely contenders -- perhaps Hutchison, DeMint, and Sessions. And if the nominee is seeking a southern conservative Governor, that list seems relatively short as well: Sanford, Barbour, and... who?
Of course, if Fred Thompson is the nominee, you might look in an entirely different direction -- toward northern, midwestern, or midwestern Republicans, preferably not from Washington. That list might include Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, Jodi Rell, Tim Pawlenty, and others.