One way in making the most of the office, is knowing where and what to delegate. Both Blair and Bush are effective in the delegation of issues, and certain important tasks to competent individuals. Blair for example has delegated a significant level of responsibility to Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he's given him free reign over economic affairs, and this leaves Blair feeling confident to get on with other things knowing that the economy is being well taken care of.
Bush has also delegated significant power to his vice president, Dick Cheney, he's entrusted him with much of the important business while he continues with the more stately, public image role that is required of an American president. The US president has a dual role, as head of state and head of government, thus making his time even more precious than that of a British Prime Minister. A media image is important to both Bush and Blair, which perhaps makes them different to some of their predecessors, as they really use the media to their advantage.
This is particularly true of Blair, has we see his personal character elevated above the Labour party. Clinton also made great use of the media. Increasingly, British Prime Ministers have been consulting un-elected political advisors. Blair has continued this trend often these advisors seem to be consulted more than the cabinet itself. The American cabinet is somewhat different to its British counterpart since unlike the British cabinet it is an un-elected body.
Its members are appointed by the president and as a result have a similar kind of role to that of political advisors in the UK. Although Blair has un-elected advisors his Cabinet is composed of elected MPs, with the exception of Lord Irvine. Blair's ability of being able to appoint Lord Irvine to the position of Lord Chancellor, is just one example of his tremendous powers of patronage. The US president too has significant powers of patronage.
Bush has an enormous bureaucracy at his disposal, very direct access to the media when he so desires it, even with a strict constitutional framework in place he still has significant power. Foley's spatial argument describes how some Prime Ministers and Presidents have deliberately made themselves to be outsiders so that they could not be associated with unpopular policies, hence making them personally more popular. Good examples of such leaders are Reagan and Thatcher. Thatcher of course was an outsider to begin with as a woman in a man's world.
She possessed strong ideological commitments and as a result was not a very pragmatic politician, she was a ver domineering leader and her party eventually grew weary of this, and they subsequently removed her as leader of the Conservative party, and as a result, Prime Minister. George Jones of the LSE argues it is possible for an individual to stretch the powers of the office well beyond their normal scope if he or she wishes to do so, this idea is known as the elastic premiership.
An example of this is when Thatcher used patronage and policy leadership in order to maintain her supremacy. The US presidents main area of authority is over foreign policy where he possesses a much freer reign than over domestic policies. Thatcher found it relatively easy to get her reforms to the health service passed, yet Clinton was enable to get through many of the policies he would have liked to have including those relating to the reform of the health service. In order to get votes President's often have to resort to "pork-barreling".
It certainly seems to be the case that money talks in American politics. In order to persuade Congressmen to support him, it is often necessary for the President to see that projects in these Congressmen's' states are funded in order to gain their backing in Congress. In conclusion, I feel that perhaps the position of US president might seem the more enviable, I do not feel there is the same room for maneuver within the constraints of the presidential office as there is in that of the British Prime Minister's.
The US presidency might carry a greater sense of prestige, but ultimately it comes with a greater deal of constraints. In summary, as Walles as commented: "Whereas a Prime Minister… with the support of party, is ideally placed for authoritative action, a President… often lacking the full support of his party in the legislature… is poorly placed to translate policies into working programmes. " So the office may very well be what the holder chooses to make of it, but clearly there is more to be made of the British Prime Minister's office then there is of the US President's.