Knowledge is the greatest power. Palpatine was a genius, he thirsted for knowledge, was extremely patient and always planning. He was taught to do things the right way. No brute force, but endless manipulations, favors owed, machinations. He was, on the surface, everyone's friend. A seemingly guileless fellow that no one really knew at all. He had tons of financial backing and that only comes from the trust in that he knew what he was doing with people's money. The Clone Wars made many many people very rich. They were the ones that kept him in power. Anakin was a never smart enough to play the game, because he was meant to be a stalwart hero and they don't play games. Anakin was never good at it, he learned by SOTE, but his heart was never in it. He was disgusted by the flattery, they phoniness... He wanted the power to force people to "be good" and comply. Unfortunately, as a being who was never really free, he didn't understand you can't force people to do anything. You have to charm and convince them. He wanted that, but not the work or responsibility that comes from maintaining the relationships. Which I am not sure he ever understood, but esp not when he was so young. Palpatine kept his enemies close, and to him, all of them were usurpers and not friends. Fodder for his conquests and games.