It was around this time last year that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the thick of a Democratic primary that appeared at surface level to be a debate over the broader direction of the Democratic Party.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had just won an upset primary against incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley and Cynthia Nixon was stirring people up on Twitter. What did it meant to be a Democrat in 2018, in the age of Donald Trump, in the age of voter rage and dislocation?

But we know how things turned out: Cuomo spent big on the campaign and won big, framing his re-election as Democrats’ best shot at counteracting President Donald Trump’s policies.

It also served as a reinforcement for the governor: New York is a big complicated state that requires a coalition of labor households, black voters in central Brooklyn, western New Yorkers and suburbanites who favor gun control and capped property taxes.

Cuomo won re-election and, as the party nationally was looking to Ocasio-Cortez as the future, the governor looked to the past: Franklin Roosevelt. Cuomo rolled out an agenda he likened to Roosevelt’s first 100 days

Seven months later, New York has a forthcoming ban on plastic bags, new gun control measures, a law bolstering abortion rights, access to tuition assistance and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, new labor rights for farm workers, a sweeping rent control package largely seen as tipped in favor of tenants and a law that codifies reductions in carbon emissions to fight climate change.

As he has over the last eight years against advocates, and then primary challenges and now state lawmakers from his own party, Cuomo has sought to refute their allegations he’s not progressive or liberal enough.

And, with session concluded a month ago, Cuomo is still ruminating over that.

In radio interviews and conference calls with reporters, Cuomo with little prompting begins to define what it is, to him, to be a progressive.

Cuomo declared this month he is “the left” and criticized the “overheated” rhetoric from those further out on the political curve.

On Monday, in an interview with WAMC, Cuomo defined being a progressive this way, “I mean more money for poor schools, I mean I’m going to stand up for minorities and the disenfranchised. I’m going to stand up and fight for the people who are in Rikers Island. I’m going to stand up for the tenants who are in NYCHA and public housing all across this state. That’s a progressive. That’s what Robert Kennedy and my father would be doing. That’s the best of the progressive tradition.”

Cuomo said he’s fitting this framework into New York’s politics, which remain decidedly Democratic, but shades of blue given the state’s varying political composition.

“I’m offering my definition of a progressive in our microcosm of New York, but those are the issues that a progressive would be attending to,” he said.

And, once again, he complained about what he suggested were unworkable bills when asked why he didn’t initially embrace the first draft of a climate change bill.

“You had a lot of electeds who just took a political statement from an advocacy group, slapped a bill number on it and submitted it,” he said, adding, “Let’s do something today that actually puts us on the path for those goals.”

The goals, with off-shore wind energy as one of its pillars, will likely be paid for by consumers, as pointed out by the Empire Center and Cuomo acknowledged in the interview.

Is this is a version of Cuomo work shopping material for next year? After all, he’s showing little interest in starting a war or even a fight with progressives, but clearly has the issue on his mind.

When asked if he would specify which lawmakers are introducing legislation written by advocates, he demurred.

“Let me think about it,” he deadpanned. “No.”