It's graduation season, and that means lots of people purported to be smarter than the rest of us stand on a stage and share their life philosophies with 20-somethings. President Obama is doing this Wednesday in front of Coast Guard graduates.

Basically, commencement speeches are a natural fit for politicians -- allowing them to talk about themselves and dispense their own brand of wisdom. And by our informal count, at least seven current and likely 2016 presidential contenders have given said commencement speeches at some point in their careers.

Here's a sampling of their wise words, just in time for graduation season.

Ted Cruz: Self-deprecation is always welcome

The Texas Republican senator spoke at Hillsdale College in 2013, when he said:

"I fully recognize that the most forgettable part of the entire day is going to be the politician they invited to be your speaker. .. But no worries. I'm in politics. I'm used to speaking when no one's listening."

Hillary Clinton: Don't lose your diploma ... or your dreams

When Clinton spoke at her alma mater, Wellesley College, in 1992, the now-former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic frontrunner said:

"You might conclude that the safest course is just to take your diploma and crawl under your bed. But let me end by proposing an alternative: Hold onto your dreams whatever they are."

Rick Perry: Get a head start and have a really clear objective

When he spoke at Texas A&M University in 2014, the former Texas governor said he needed to get ahead of the competition to run for president:

"I got started early with my resume because I know we're going to be out there competing. Under objective, I wrote: Highly motivated professional seeking a position as chief executive of a large enterprise with good benefits and a really large personal jet."

Jeb Bush: It's OK to follow in your parents' footsteps

Speaking at University of South Carolina in 2014, the the former Florida governor and GOP front runner said it's pretty clear he got his career path from his father, former president George H.W. Bush:

"We're seeing more and more that people often model their lives on their parents: Their parents went to college, so do they. If their parents married late, so do they. If their parents went to church, so do they. And I can tell you from personal experience if your parents work in politics -- well, you know the rest."

Chris Christie: Enjoy freedom

The Republican New Jersey governor got an honorary degree at Rutgers University in 2010 (an honor bestowed to all the state's governors), where he basically said live your life:

"To be free is to know that at anytime in life, you can choose any direction, any new goal. Or you can simply appreciate the beauty of the world and the smooth lines of a life well-lived."

Martin O'Malley: Cliches have their place

The former Maryland governor and expected Democratic challenger to Clinton told the class of 2014 at the University of Maryland how he made an effort to avoid graduation cliches -- then promptly said them all:

“As I was writing my message for your big day, my young staff brought to my attention a diabolical new post on for such occasions. And it's called commencement cliché bingo. And it arranges no fewer than 24 clichéd graduation phrases on a grid -- phrases like: Be true to yourself. Follow your dreams. The future is yours to shape. And the indispensable: It is a great honor."


Vice President Joe Biden (because, aviators): Ambition is good, but insufficient

Even though Biden might not be running for president, we had to include him because well, he's Biden. While speaking on an apparently sunny day at Yale College on Sunday, he said:

"Ambition is really important. You need it. And I certainly have never lacked in having ambition. But ambition without perspective can be a killer."

Watch a quick video of their advice.