The president may not want to “kick the can down the road” with the debt ceiling (though he has no problem doing so with entitlement reform). But does anybody believe he could really veto a short-term debt limit increase at this late a date? Obama has done too much to make August 2 look like doomsday to credibly make such a move now. And let us not forget, any legislation that reaches his desk would have to pass a Democratic-controlled Senate.
If Obama vetoed even nominally bipartisan legislation to address the debt ceiling, legislation passed by both a Republican House and Democratic Senate, he would own whatever adverse consequences resulted. As much as he’d like to avoid re-litigating the debt ceiling debate during an election year, that strikes me as something he’d like to avoid even more.