David Gergen has been a White House adviser to four presidents and is a senior political analyst at CNN. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a professor of public service at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he founded the Center for Public Leadership. Caroline Cohen, a recent honors graduate of Harvard College and winner of the Thomas T. Hoopes prize for her senior thesis, is David Gergen's research assistant at the Harvard Kennedy School. The opinions expressed in this commentary are their own. View more opinion on CNN.
(CNN)Joe Biden is far from the first president to call for national unity -- Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama also sounded that trumpet, and even Donald Trump paid lip service to unity in his inaugural address. What distinguishes Biden and his allies on Capitol Hill and beyond is that they are trying a different approach to unifying the country: they are backing up words with concrete actions. Or, to put it bluntly, they are putting federal money where their mouths are.