City Limits teamed up with The Nation to cover the first 100 days of the de Blasio administration. Click here for more on the series.

He's spoken often about inequality, of course, but that's an issue, not an ideal. He talked much about universal pre-kindergarten, but that's a policy, not a way of thinking. Today, in a speech to a friendly audience of pols and advocates at the Great Hall at Cooper Union, Bill de Blasio talked about what it really means to run a progressive government.

The speech was retrospective in content, reviewing the many accomplishments of his first three months in office (stop-and-frisk, vision zero, snowstorms, UPK, a dance-free budget, paid sick-leave and so on), and some will spin it as an attempt to hit the reset button after the “stumbles” of the mayor's “rocky” run so far.

Clearly, however, there was more to it than that. “We have to think about what animates us to keep this work moving forward,” de Blasio said at one point.

Read more about the mayor's 100th day speech.