Renege in Context:
People often do this.
At times it becomes part of their nature: to renege agreements, promises and like.
Barack Obama has done it and that is what the paragraph highlights. He has backed down on a few of his promises, in other words, he has reneged on them.

(The one who reneges is a reneger. Reneger is the noun form for renege.)

Memory tip for Renege:
Remember, POLITICIANS ALWAYS RENEGE!
It is almost their job to do so.

Dictionary definition for Renege:
1. To fail to carry out a promise or commitment: reneged on the contract at the last minute.

PLEASE NOTE:
The following is an extract from The New York Times used for educational purposes:  ‘Ever since the current economic crisis began, it has seemed that five words sum up the central principle of United States financial policy: go easy on the bankers. This principle was on display during the final months of the Bush administration, when a huge lifeline for the banks was made available with few strings attached. It was equally on display in the early months of the Obama administration, when President Obama reneged on his campaign pledge to “change our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for families to stay in their homes.” And the principle is still operating right now, as federal officials press state attorneys general to accept a very modest settlement from banks that engaged in abusive mortgage practices.’


Read further on:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/18/opinion/18krugman.html

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